Drummer Denzil Best was born in New York City this day in 1917. He was a favorite sideman of Ben Webster, George Shearing and Erroll Garner until calcium deposits in his wrists crippled his career. He died in May 1965 after falling down a flight of steps in the New York subway.
Drummer Connie Kay, a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet for nearly 40 years, was born this day in 1927 in Tuckahoe, N.Y. He joined the MJQ in 1955, replacing Kenny Clarke. Kay died in 1995.
Guitarist Calvin Newborn, the younger brother of pianist Phineas Newborn Jr., was born this day in 1933 in Memphis. He has recorded with his brother, with Earl Hines and with Lionel Hampton.
Tenor saxophonist Tommy Smith was born this day in 1967 in Edinburgh, Scotland, which remains his home base. The former Gary Burton sideman leads the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as well as his own quartet.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Jimmy Smith quartet is at Iridium. Reuben Wilson and the Masters of Groove are at the Jazz Standard. Carol Sloane is at the Village Vanguard. Diane Schuur is at the Blue Note. Jane Bunnett and the Havana Spirits are at Sweet Rhythm tonight. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin jazz band is at Smoke on Sunday nights. The Latin Jazz Alliance will play at the annual Earth Day celebration this afternoon at Pelham Bay Park.
In the Boston area... Orquesta Aragón is at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight and Monday. Flamenco guitarist Jonathan "Juanito" Pascual is at the Cambridge Family YMCA's Durrell Hall in Cambridge tonight. Singer Shawnn Monteiro is featured this afternoon at the Boston Jazz Society's 30th anniversary celebration at Scullers jazz club. The Jazz in the Sanctuary series at The Church of Our Saviour in Brookline tonight features trumpeter Jack Walrath.
Singer Karrin Allyson is at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia tonight.
In Cleveland... the Hymns Of Dixie are at the Wooster Historical Society. Singer Barbara Rosene is at Nighttown. Violinist Billy Bang is at the Beachland Ballroom tonight with saxophonist Frank Lowe, pianist Naoko Ono, bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Cody Moffett.
In the Chicago area... Ira Sullivan's quartet is at the Jazz Showcase tonight. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman are at The Chambers in Niles. The Brienn Perry Orchestra is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. The Chicago Jazz Composers Collective is at the Green Mill this afternoon, with Kimberly Gordon on tap tonight. David Boykin, Karl E. H. Seigfried, and Mike Reed are at the Hungry Brain tonight with Keefe Jackson, Frank Rosaly and Jim Baker.
The Sonny Turner quintet is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. The Tim Green and Tim McNamara trio is at Katerina's this noon. Kara Kesselring is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight. The Russell Alan Rowe trio is at Pops for Champagne tonight. Jim Clark's Jazz People are at Seul's Tavern and Grill tonight.
The 34th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival continues today with music bubbling from 12 varied stages on the 75-acre infield of the Fair Grounds Race Course. Headliners today include Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Ornette Coleman, Ellis Marsalis, the Iguanas, the ReBirth Brass Band, Jeremy Davenport, Yerba Buena and Eddie Bo. Tonight's club show features Franz Jackson, Sammy Rimington, Freddy Lonzo, Mark Braud, James Singleton and Ernie Elly.
Elsewhere in New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Shannon Powell quartet is at Donna's. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. Rob Wagner's New Thing is at the Dragon's Den. Warren Battiste and Friends are at El Matador. Big Sam's Funky Nation and Evan Howard are at the Funky Butt tonight.
Garage a Trois is at the House of Blues. The Fred Wesley All-stars plus Bonerama are at Jimmy's Music Club. Nu-Jazz Drum and Bass with No Parking, Siamese, Lucid and Mitch Stein and Friends are at Mama's Blues. Otra, Los Hombres Calientes and the ReBirth Brass Band are at the Maple Leaf. The Charlie Hunter trio and DJ Logic are at the Mermaid Lounge tonight.
The Olympia Brass Band is at Preservation Hall. Jason Marsalis, Maurice Brown, Ed Peteren, Roland Guerin, Peter Martin, Quamon Fowler and Steve Masakowski are at Snug Harbor. The North Mississippi All-stars with special guest Dickie Betts plus Anders Osborne and Henry Butler are at Tipitina's. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is at TwiRoPa.
Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander's One For All sextet is at Murry's in Columbia, Mo., this afternoon and evening.
On the California jazz scene... Elvin Jones Jazz Machine is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight. The Sunday Jazz Band features trumpeter Carl Saunders at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight.
The CJS quintet with Art Hillery is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Susie Hansen Latin band is on the McClure Stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of California in Westwood.
Singer Abbey Lincoln is at Yoshi's in Oakland. The SFJAZZ Spring Season in San Francisco presents a Sacred Steel family matinee today at the Herbst Theater with the Campbell Brothers plus special guests, including Aubrey Ghent.
The Keith Jarrett trio is at the Olympia Theater in Paris tonight.
Pianist and composer Andrew Hill will be presented with Denmark's 14th annual Jazzpar prize in Copenhagen tonight at a gala concert that will be recorded and open a Scandinavian concert tour.