Today is May 24.
Electric violinist Michael White was born this day in 1933 in Houston. He came into the jazz spotlight in 1965 at the Monterey Jazz Festival as a member of saxophonist John Handy's quintet.
Pianist and composer Frank Signorelli was born this day in New York in 1901. He performed with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1921 and again in the late 1930s after its revival. His best known compositions are "A Blues Serenade" and "Stairway to the Stars." He died in 1975.
Saxophonist, playwright and jazz educator Archie Shepp was born this day in 1937 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The John Coltrane-influenced player has been a highly vocal spokesman for free jazz. In addition to touring and recording... he has been on the University of Massachusetts faculty for more than 25 years.
On this day in 1936, Artie Shaw recorded the first official swing jazz concert. Shaw's strong reception with a small string ensemble at the Imperial Theater in New York City prompted him to form his own big band.
On this day in 1974, the world lost a member of its musical royalty. Duke Ellington was 75 when he died from cancer. He wrote music and led his great orchestra until a couple of months before his passing.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On Monday, June 9, guitar legend Les Paul will celebrate his 88th birthday at his long-time New York City musical home, the Iridium jazz club. To help him celebrate, Al DiMeola, Russell Malone, Pat Martino, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jon Paris and many more surprise guests, will be in the house.
Paul is a living legend and an icon of the music world. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received multiple Grammy Awards, pioneered the modern electric guitar and invented numerous recording techniques.
He has influenced countless musicians and guitarists. Paul's regular Monday night appearances at Iridium since April 1995 attract devoted fans from all over the world. Musicians such as Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Tony Bennett, Steve Miller, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Jeff Beck, Slash and countless others come to pay homage, making this the music industry's most important regular music gig in New York.
(Thanks to UPI's John Swenson)
On the New York jazz scene... the McCoy Tyner trio with special guest Bobby Hutcherson is at Iridium through Sunday. The John Patitucci group is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Taj Mahal is at the Blue Note for two more nights. The Uri Caine trio is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday.
The Marian McPartland trio is at Birdland tonight. The Eddie Henderson quartet is at Smoke tonight. The Earl May quartet is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight. The John Benitez group is at The Jazz Gallery tonight.
The eighth annual Vision Festival continues tonight at the Center at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral with Amina and Amiri Baraka with Blue Ark; The WordShip; Rob Brown and William Parker; Milford Graves and Peter Brotzmann; the Jin Hi Kim trio with Billy Bang and William Parker; and the Louis Belogenis, Roy Campbell, Hill Green, Michael Wimberly quartet.
The Houston Person quartet is at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
In and around Boston... Mose Allison is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight. Eddie Palmieri is at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Rumbafrica is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight.
The Ken Clark organ trio is at The Waiting Room in Burlington, Vt., tonight.
The Jamie Baum Quartet is at The Waterwheel in Milford, Pa., tonight.
In Philadelphia... saxophonist Sonny Fortune and drummer Rashied Ali are at Tritone tonight. Jimmy Oliver is at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus with the Mickey Roker quartet. Marc Copland is at Chris's Jazz Café.
Singer Donna Byrne and tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton are at the Gardner Theater in Meadville, Pa., through Sunday with their quintet.
Guitarist Mike Stern's band is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight. Singer Curtis Stigers is at the Kennedy Center's KC Jazz Club tonight.
Today's schedule at the 26th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival at Piedmont Park features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. Dan, Somi, Bobby Sanabria Y Ascensión and the Irvin Mayfield quintet.
Cleveland's Great American Rib Cookoff, scheduled through Saturday at the Tower City Amphitheater, today features jazz by Tony Quarles and Discovery, and Barely Breathin'. The Dukes of Dixieland are at Hoover Auditorium in Lakeside, Ohio, tonight.
In Chicago... Jack DeJohnette is at The Jazz Showcase through Sunday with Danilo Perez and Jerome Harris. Natalie Yoakley is at the Backroom. The Malachi Thompson Freebop Band with Billy Harper and Gary Bartz is at the Green Mill tonight. The Tom Muellner trio is at Houston's Restaurant on Saturday nights. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Tuey Connell organ trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Neal Alger trio is at Pops for Champagne tonight.
In New Orleans... the Blue Universe Quartet featuring Sheik Rasheed is at the Blue Nile tonight. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Julia LaShae Jazz Combo is at Charlie G's. The Basin Street Brass Band is at Donna's. Tom McDermott and Tim Laughlin are at Dos Jefes. Devin Philips is at the Funky Butt tonight.
Mark Braud and Topsy Chapman are at Harrah's. The Jazz Vipers are at Lounge Lizards. Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band are at the Palm Court. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Astral Project is at Snug Harbor tonight. The Royal Rounders and the Washboard Chaz blues trio are at the Spotted Cat. The Storyville Stompers Brass Band is at the French Market Complex this afternoon.
On the California jazz scene... the Heath Brothers are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. Drummer Steve Smith and Vital Information with special guest Bill Evans on sax are at Catalina¹s Bar and Grill in Hollywood for two more nights. The Estrada Brothers Latin jazz band is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
The Jack Sheldon quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. Saxophonist Charles Owens is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight with the John Heard trio. Bob DeSena's Latin jazz group is at The Deck in Palm Springs tonight and Sunday.
Nicholas Payton and Sonic Trance are at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. The SFJazz spring season continues this afternoon and tonight at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco with a "Swing Thru the Years: Violin Summit" featuring the Mark O'Connor trio and Johnny Frigo. The Woody Woodhouse quartet is at the Jazz and Blues Company in Carmel tonight.
Keiko Matsui is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle though Sunday.