Trumpeter Yank Lawson was born this day in Trenton, Mo. A regular with the World's Greatest Jazz Band, he cut his jazz teeth with Wingy Manone, Ben Pollack, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. Some consider Lawson's distinctive phrasing and blues feeling to have been the standout sound in Bob Crosby's Bobcats.
Pianist John Lewis, longtime musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, was born this day in 1920 in LaGrange, Ill. He died in 2001.
Singer Harry Lillis Crosby, better known as "Bing" Crosby, was born this day in 1903 in Tacoma, Wash. He recorded with Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Condon and many other jazz greats. His record of "White Christmas" is the only single to make America's pop charts 20 times between 1942 and 1962.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Hank Jones is at Iridium through Sunday. The Makoto Ozone trio is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. The Manhattan Transfer is at the Blue Note through Sunday. The Tom Harrell quintet is at the Village Vanguard this week. Saxophonist Jim Snidero is at Smoke tonight.
The Three Altos -- Sonny Fortune, Gary Bartz and Vincent Herring -- are at Sweet Rhythm through Sunday with George Cables, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart. Lee Konitz is at Birdland tonight. The Bad Plus, Charlie Hunter and Bobby Previte are at the Knitting Factory tonight.
The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University presents "Africa Jazz" with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra featuring African drum master Jacub Addy and Odadaa! tonight at Columbia's Miller Theater. It follows a daylong symposium on drums in jazz. The discussions feature Steve Berrios, Andrew Cyrille, Roy Haynes, Eddie Locke, Herlin Riley and Leroy Williams.
In the Boston area... high-octane trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's 75th birthday bash is on this weekend at Ryles in Cambridge. He performs tonight with his alumni and friends big band and on Sunday with his touring unit, Big Bop Nouveau. The Steve Lacy-Danilo Pérez duo is at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Tower of Power is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight.
In the Philadelphia area tonight... the Philly Jazz All-Stars band featuring singers Barbara Montgomery, Frank Bey and Jeanne Brooks is at Radnor High School Auditorium, where drummer and Duke Ellington Orchestra alumnus Butch Ballard will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Philly jazz community. The Bad Plus trio is at Chris's Jazz Café. Percussionist Orlando Fiol's band and the Yellowjackets are at the Painted Bride Art Center.
The Marcus Miller band is at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh through Sunday.
Chick Corea and his reunion Elektric Band are at the Newport News, Va., Jazz Festival tonight.
In the Cleveland area... there's a tribute to Tito Puente with music, video and memorabilia at Galeria Quetzel in Cleveland tonight. Pianist Judy Strauss is at Kirtland Park this afternoon.
Roberta Piket and Alternating Current are at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati tonight.
In the Chicago area... Eric Alexander's One For All quintet is at the Jazz Showcase this week. Andy's presents the second night of the sixth annual Women of Southport Festival tonight. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. Flora Purim and Airto Moreira are at HotHouse. The Tom Muellner trio is at Houston's Restaurant. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.
Steve Smith and Vital Information are at New Moon Coffee in Oshkosh, Wis., tonight with special guest Bill Evans on sax.
Today's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival lineup includes Irma Thomas, LL Cool J, the funky Meters, Mavis Staples, Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham, Nicholas Payton, Wanda Rouzan, Astral Project, Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band, the Li'l Rascals Brass Band and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. India.Arie and Musiq are in concert tonight at the Morris Jeff Municipal Auditorium in Louis Armstrong Park.
Elsewhere in New Orleans... the Blue Universe quintet featuring Sheik Rasheed is at the Blue Nile. Kermit Ruffins is at Cafe Negril tonight. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Leroy Jones quintet and the Mama Digdown Brass Band are at Donna's. Devin Philips is at the Funky Butt tonight. Mark Braud and Topsy Chapman are at Harrah's. Michael Franti and Spearhead plus Robert Walter's 20th Congress are at the House of Blues.
DJ Logic, Carlos Washington, Fareed Haque and Kai Eckhardt are at Howlin' Wolf. Nicholas Payton's Sonic Trance is at Jimmy's Music Club. Bonerama is at the Maple Leaf. Jim Payne's Hop, David Fiuczysnki's band Kif, Jumbo Gumbo, Swayback and Melvin Sparks are at the Old Point. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are at the Orpheum Theater. Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band are at the Palm Court.
Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. The Charles Brewer trio is at the Steak Knife. Michael Ward and Willie "Tee" Turbington are at Sweet Lorraine's. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is at Tipitina's. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Soulive are at TwiRoPa. The Billy Bang quintet featuring Frank Lowe is at the Zeitgeist Theater. The Royal Players Brass Band is at the French Market Complex this afternoon.
In San Antonio tonight... Ron Wilkins and Mark Pomerantz are at Boccone's Restaurant. Joan Carroll and Footprints are at Carmen's de la Calle Café with guest bassist Joël Dilley. Ken Slavin, Joe Piscatelle and Chuck Moses are at The Emily Morgan Hotel. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band is at The Landing Mondays through Saturdays.
On the California jazz scene... the Dave Holland quintet is at Humphrey's by the Bay in San Diego tonight. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Fred Ramirez Latin jazz band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Bill Watrous quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Saxophonist Bill Perkins is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight with the John Heard trio. The Bob DeSena Latin jazz group is at The Deck in Palm Springs tonight.
Orquesta Aragon is at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine tonight. Susie Hansen's Latin jazz band is at Lunaria near Century City tonight. The 10th annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival is scheduled today and Sunday. The lineup includes Ken Navarro, Euge Groove, Greg Adams, Pieces of a Dream, Thom Rotella, Michael Lington, Bob Baldwin, Patti Austin and Will Downing. The Philippe LeJeune trio is at The Jazz and Blues Company in Carmel tonight.
The Kenny Garrett quartet is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. The music of pianist Omar Sosa is featured tonight during Dimensions Dance Theater's large-scale, multi-disciplinary work "From Africa to America: Legacies" at the Calvin Simmons Theater in Oakland. The SFJAZZ spring season features the Joshua Redman Elastic Band tonight at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco.
Chuck Mangione is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday. The Cornish College of the Arts tonight presents the Jovino Santos Neto quintet's world premiere of "Canto do Rio," new music created through Chamber Music America's "New Works: Creation and Presentation" program. Saxophonist Harvey Wainapel and singer Flora McGill are special guests at the event in Seattle's Poncho Hall. There's an opening set by the Dave Peterson-Chuck Deardorf group.