Today is June 24th.
Composer, pianist and big band leader George Gruntz was born this day in 1932 in Basel, Switzerland. In addition to leading his own ambitious big band, he became program director for the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1973.
Drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith was born this day in 1961 in Waukegan, Ill.
On this day in 1929, singer Bessie Smith recorded the soundtrack for her only movie. It was "St. Louis Blues."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The JVC Jazz Festival in New York tonight presents Barbara Lea, Marian McPartland, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Daryl Sherman, Marlene Verplanck, Ronny Whyte and Michael Abene at the Kaye Playhouse.
Elsewhere on the New York scene... Cuban-born composer and pianist Omar Sosa and his band will perform at the Blue tonight. The Ralph Alessi trio is featured tonight in the Sidemen Steppin' Out series at the Screening Room. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is at the Village Vanguard tonight with special guest Joe Lovano on saxes. Les Paul is at Iridium.
In Cleveland, the Four Freshmen are at Nighttown tonight. The Summer Jazz With The Jazz Masters series opens today at Cuyahoga Community College and runs through July 19.
Percussionist Steve Reid's Bamboo Forest band is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
In and around Chicago... Yoko Noge's Jazz Me Blues is at HotHouse tonight. Kelly Brand is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Nadine Baxter is at Philander's in Oak Park. Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman are at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans tonight... Bob French and Friends are at Donna's for the Monday night jam. Jason Marsalis and Jesse McBride are at the Funky Butt. Joe Krown is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Jesse McBride and Paul Longstreth are at Le Salon at Windsor Court. Philip Melancon plays the music of George Gershwin tonight at the Neutral Ground Coffee House. Reginald Koeller leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Charmaine Neville is at Snug Harbor. Brian 'Breeze' Cayolle and the Storyville Stompers Brass Band are at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
On the California jazz scene... the Jason Goldman sextet is at The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight. Jared Schonig, Frank Abraham and Clay Jenkins are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Terry Federoff's Jazz Lite Octette is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
Martin Fierro and Eric Wiley are at Main Street Station in Guerneville. There's a tribute to Eric Dolphy featuring Oliver Lake, James Newton, Jon Jang and Anthony Brown tonight at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Con Alma Quintet is at the Hedley Club in the Hotel De Anza in San Jose tonight.
In San Francisco tonight, Leftover Dreams featuring Patrice Haan and Tony Marcus is at Enrico's, The Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is at Jazz at Pearl's Carolyn Montgomery is at the Plush Room tonight and George Khouri is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club. The Vinicius Cantuaria quartet is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz tonight.
Los Hombres Calientes are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight.
Toronto Downtown Jazz continues tonight with the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Tonight's Vancouver Jazz Festival lineup includes the Dave Holland quartet, the Francis Bourassa quartet with Andre Leroux, Maraca and Otra Vision, the Puentes Brothers, D. D. Jackson, Crash and The Electricks.