Today is March 22.
The father of modern jazz guitar was born this day in 1919 in Dallas. Charlie Christian's recording career lasted only three years, but what an impact he had on later generations. His harnessing of the newly electrified guitar and his extension of single-note solos helped speed the transition from swing to bebop for guitar players in the 1940s and '50s.
Another great guitarist, whose career took off more because of his singing than his extraordinary fretwork, was born this day in 1943. George Benson was born in Pittsburgh and his recording in 1976 of "Breezin'" was the first jazz album to sell more than 1 million copies.
Big band arranger and bandleader Sonny Burke was born this day in 1914 in Scranton, Pa. His admiration for Jimmy Lunceford and Count Basie led to his 1940 arrangement of "Jimmy Meets the Count" for the Okeh label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... the Michel Camilo trio is at the Blue Note. The Bill Charlap trio is at the Village Vanguard for two more nights. The Bobby Hutcherson sextet featuring James Spaulding and Wallace Roney is at Iridium. Organist Joey DeFrancesco's trio and special guests are at The Jazz Standard this week. Jimmy McGriff is at Birdland tonight with his quartet.
Norman Hedman and Tropique are at Sweet Rhythm tonight and Sunday. Mike LeDonne, Ron Carter and Mickey Roker are at Smoke tonight. The Rochelle Thompson trio is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight.
Symphony Space on the Upper West Side presents Wall to Wall Joni Mitchell from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today. This is the 33rd annual music marathon featuring the works of one composer performed by a wide array of musical admirers. Jazz participants include David Amram, Andy Biskin, Don Byron, Vinicius Cantuaria, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, Melba Joyce, Jason Moran, The Mingus Big Band, Greg Osby, Luciana Souza and Nora York.
Saxophonist Dick Johnson, trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, drummer Harold Jones, trombonist Porky Cohen, blues singer Michelle Willson and blues saxophonist Gordon Beadle team up tonight for a benefit concert for the many victims of last month's deadly fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I. Tonight's concert is at the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.
In and around Boston... the T.S. Monk sextet is at Scullers jazz club tonight. Los Hombres Calientes with Irvin Mayfield and Bill Summers are at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. The Teresa Ines Group is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight.
In Philadelphia... the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble performs at noon today at the Kimmel Center. The Steve Giordano quartet is at the Sedgwick Cultural Center tonight. The Ben Allison quintet is at the Painted Bride Art Center. Randy Johnston is at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus tonight with the Sid Simmons quartet. Toots Thielemans is at Zanzibar Blue.
Bassist Brian Bromberg opens its Jaco Pastorius tribute tour tonight at the Berks County Jazz Festival in Reading, Pa. Other stops include Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., SOB's in New York City and Scullers jazz club in Boston before winding down April 22-23 at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif.
Singer Kitty Brazelton is at the Erie, Pa., Art Museum Annex tonight.
The Dave Brubeck quartet is at Severance Hall in Cleveland with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra.
In the Chicago area... the David Sanchez quartet is at The Jazz Showcase for two more nights. Detour is at the Backroom. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Tom Muellner trio is at Houston's Restaurant. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight.
Ken Chaney's quartet is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight. Rankinfyle is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight. The Unity Temple Concert Series presents Bradley Williams and his Original 21st Century Review tonight at Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... the Blue Universe Quartet featuring Sheik Rasheed is at the Blue Nile tonight. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Leroy Jones quintet is at Donna's. Jacques Gauthe and Jamie Wight are at Fritzel's. Devin Phillips' Hot Shots and Ingrid Lucia are at the Funky Butt. Mark Braud and Topsy Chapman are at Harrah's. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule.
Lionel Ferbos is at the Palm Court. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Tim Green is at Rene Bistrot. Delfeayo Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. Blues Women Tell Their Story Through Song features Lisa Lynn and Stu Crawford this afternoon at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes opens the Miller Outdoor Theater's 2003 season with a free performance tonight in Hermann Park in Houston. The Diaz Music Institute's youth ensemble, Caliente, opens the show. Singer Mayra Caridad Valdes will perform with her brother's band tonight. It's the first stop in a tour that will bring them across the United States and into Canada over the next four weeks before winding down April 23 in Edmonton, Alberta.
In San Antonio tonight... John Abercrombie is at Carmen's de la Calle Cafe. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band is at The Landing. Beverly Houston is at Swig.
Pianist Kenny Barron and his Canta Brasil band are at Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona in Tucson tonight.
In California... Dizzy's in San Diego's East Village features a tribute to saxophonist Stan Getz featuring his son, Steve Getz, on drums with San Diego saxophonist Joe Marillo. Singer-pianist Freddy Cole's quartet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Pete Jolly trio is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. Saxophonist Benn Clatworthy is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight with the John Heard trio.
The Fred Ramirez Latin jazz band quartet is at Steamer's Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. San Francisco's SFJAZZ spring series features the Marcus Roberts trio at the Herbst Theater this afternoon and a "Latin New York: Salsa Dance Party" tonight at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium with Eddie Palmieri and La Perfecta II, India and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Saxophonist Wayne De Silva's quartet is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. The Charles Lloyd quartet featuring Geri Allen is at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland through Sunday.
Dr. John and the Lower 911 are at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.
Bireli Lagrene is at Le Spectrum in Montreal tonight.
Omar Sosa's quintet is at L'Art-Chipel in Basse Terre, Guadeloupe, tonight.