Today is Oct. 20.
Ferdinand Joseph Lemott, better known to the music world as Jelly Roll Morton, was born this day in 1890. By the time he was 12 years old, he was playing ragtime piano in bordellos in the Storyville section of his native New Orleans. Morton claimed that he invented jazz. That's an exaggeration, but he was the first important jazz composer. Morton's best ensemble work was with his group the Red Hot Peppers. He died in 1941.
Singer Adelaide Hall was born this day in 1904 in New York. She recorded with Duke Ellington and other American jazz and blues greats before marrying, becoming a British citizen and settling in London in 1938.
Drummer Willie Jones was born this day in 1929 in New York. He worked in the 1950s with Thelonious Monk, Cecil Payne, Kenny Dorham, Charlie Parker and Lester Young. He was also a member of Charles Mingus's first Jazz Workshop.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, pianist Barry Harris's octet with singer Nancy Marano, his chorus and children's choir and tap dancer Jimmy Slyde are at Town Hall tonight. Singer-pianist Deanna Witkowski and her band are at the Metropolitan Café tonight. Pianist Jason Lindner's trio is at The Jazz Gallery. Trombonist Chris Washburne's Latin jazz band, SYOTOS, is at Makor tonight. The eclectic lineup tonight at the Knitting Factory includes Calvin Weston's Big Tree, The Waz, Skyflower, Knee-coal Beth and the Darren Lyons group. Pianist Roland Hanna performs a solo concert tonight at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
In and around Boston, pianist Donal Fox is at the Regattabar in Cambridge with his trio. Singer Rita Moreno is at Scullers. Tim Ray, Eugene Friesen and Greg Hopkins perform as Tre Corda tonight at the Center for the Arts in Natick, Mass.
Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's quintet performs tonight at the Clearwater, Fla., Jazz Holiday Festival.
Brazilian singer-guitarist Filo Machado is at The Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor, Mich., tonight and Sunday.
On the Chicago jazz scene, trombonist Steve Turre's quartet is at the Jazz Showcase for two more nights. The Jeanne Lambert quintet performs this evening in the Jazz at Five series at Andy's. Malachi Thompson's Freebop Band is at the Green Mill. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium.
In New Orleans tonight, the Marc Adams trio is at Cobalt. New Orleans Streetbeat is at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Trumpeter Leroy Jones's quintet is at Donna's. Dr. Jazz and the Dixieland Sounds are at the French Market Complex this afternoon. Pete Fountain is in the spotlight at his club tonight. Trumpeter Wendell Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall. Leah Chase is at Snug Harbor. John Boutte is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Juanita Brooks is at Sweet Lorraine's. The Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center continues its Creative Music Festival with Michael Ray and the Improvisational Arts Council performing Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" music.
Late clarinetist and big bandleader Woody Herman's memory will be honored tonight in Los Angeles with a concert in the Douglas Fairbanks Gardens at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where Herman is entombed. "Autumn Eve -- A tribute to Woody Herman" will feature saxophonist Frank Tiberi and the current Herman orchestra, plus guest appearances by Herman alumni, including Neal Hefti, John LaPorta, Terry Gibbs, Pete and Conte Candoli, Alan Broadbent, Don Lamond, Bill Berry and Bill Perkins. Artie Shaw and Buddy Collette are scheduled to speak at the event. Proceeds will benefit the International Association of Jazz Educators and Jazz America.
Elsewhere on the California jazz scene, Ahmad Jamal's trio is at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Larry Vuckovich trio is at Spiedo Ristorante in San Jose. The Tin Hat Trio is at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco. The Lost Coast Jazz Trio is at Cato's Ale House in Oakland. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is at the Justice League in San Francisco. Soul Sauce is at Pearl's in San Francisco.