Celebrating the great musicians of jazz on their special day!
1 November, 1971
Antonio Sanchez is a Mexican-American jazz drummer and composer best known for his work with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. In 2014, his popularity increased when he composed an original film score for Birdman, directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The soundtrack album was released on October 14, 2014. The score earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and BAFTA Award for Best Film Music; he won the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Score and Satellite Award for Best Original Score.
2 November, 1967
“Part of my joy as a singer is to give gifts to people, and one way I try to connect to them is to add something in French or German or whatever.”
Kurt Elling is an American jazz singer and songwriter born in Chicago, Illinois. After college, he enrolled in the University of Chicago Divinity School, but he left one credit short of a degree to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist. Elling began to perform around Chicago, scat singing and improvising his lyrics. He recorded a demo in the early 1990s and was signed by Blue Note. He has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning Best Vocal Jazz Album for Dedicated to You (2009).
3 November, 1977
Jane Monheit is an American jazz and pop vocalist. When she was 22, she released her first album, Never Never Land (N-Coded, 2000). Like Fitzgerald, she recorded many songs from the Great American Songbook. After recording for five labels, she started her own, Emerald City Records. Its first release was The Songbook Sessions (2016), an homage to Fitzgerald. Monheit’s vocals were featured in the 2010 film Never Let Me Go for the titular song, written by Luther Dixon, and credited to the fictional Judy Bridgewater.
4 November, 1976
“My mother used to play jazz around the house all the time, though the recordings were all singers. It wasn’t until I got to 10th grade, that my music teacher in Jazz band hipped me to a lot of musicians like Miles Davis”
Jeremy Pelt is an American jazz trumpeter. Pelt studied classical trumpet as a child and focused on jazz after playing in a high school jazz ensemble. He studied at Berklee College of Music. Among those he has performed with are Ravi Coltrane, Roy Hargrove, Greg Osby, and Cassandra Wilson.
5 November, 1972
“I joined a pub blues band when I was 14, and from that point I wanted to do it for a living – it was sexy, you got into pubs underage and girls loved you. From the blues band I was introduced to contemporary black American music and discovered funk, soul, R&B and all that stuff.”
Neil Cowley is an English jazz pianist and composer. He has also released music as part of Fragile State, the Green Nuns of the Revolution, and the Neil Cowley Trio. With his trio, he appeared on Later… with Jools Holland in April 2008 and won the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for best album for Displaced. In 2018, Cowley announced he was working on a new electronic focused solo project.
6 November, 1949
“To rise above the crowd, you must discipline yourself unceasingly to the strict demand and realities of your ambition.”
Arturo Sandoval is a Cuban-American jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer. Sandoval, while living in his native Cuba, was influenced by jazz musicians Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie, finally meeting Gillespie later in 1977. Gillespie became a mentor and colleague, playing with Sandoval in concerts in Europe and Cuba and later featuring him in the United Nations Orchestra. Sandoval defected while touring with Gillespie in 1990, and he became an American naturalized citizen in 1998. His life was the subject of the film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000). Sandoval has won ten Grammy Awards and been nominated nineteen times; he has also received six Billboard Awards and one Emmy Award.
David S. Ware
7 November, 1949 – 18 October, 2012
“You need to make the music strong, and the philosophy behind the music has to be solid. What the music exudes, what it emits, has to be very strong. It’s your thinking that brings you things in life. Part of my philosophy to exceed starts right there.”
David S. Ware was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. The David S. Ware Quartet performed across the US and Europe and released a series of increasingly acclaimed albums spanning the 1990s. In 2001, jazz critic Gary Giddins described Ware’s quartet as “the best small band in jazz today”. In 2007, after 17 years together, the quartet was disbanded following the release of the album Renunciation and a final European tour that spring. Ware proceeded to perform concerts and record albums with a series of new group configurations.
8 November, 1963
“Music, to me, is not math or science. It is a language.”
Russell Malone is an American jazz guitarist. He began working with Jimmy Smith in 1988 and went on to work with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall throughout the 1990s. He began playing at the age of four with a toy guitar his mother bought him. He was influenced by B.B. King and The Dixie Hummingbirds. A significant experience was when he was twelve and saw George Benson perform on television with Benny Goodman. He is mostly self-taught.
9 November, 1965
Jesse Davis is an American jazz saxophonist. Davis began as a student in Ellis Marsalis’s New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. After graduating, Davis embarked on a productive jazz career, recording eight albums on the Concord Jazz label, alongside collaborations with such artists as Jack McDuff and Illinois Jacquet. Davis has studied music at Northeastern Illinois University, and in 1989 he received a “Most Outstanding Musician award” from Down Beat magazine.
10 November, 1934
Houston Person is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and record producer. Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, he is most experienced in and best known for his work in soul jazz. He received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982. Person grew up in Florence, South Carolina, and first played piano before switching to tenor saxophone. He studied at South Carolina State College where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
11 November, 1940
Mario Pavone is an American jazz bassist. He grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut and began performing in 1965. He was a member of Paul Bley’s trio during 1968-72, and Bill Dixon’s trio during the 1980s. He also performed with such musicians as Barry Altschul, Wadada Leo Smith, and Gerry Hemingway. Pavone recorded his first album as a leader in 1979, and has since recorded over a dozen albums under his name. Pavone co-led a group with Anthony Braxton in the early 1990s, with Braxton on piano rather than his usual saxophones. In 1980 he began an 18-year musical relationship with saxophonist Thomas Chapin. Along with drummer Michael Sarin, the group recorded seven albums for Knitting Factory Records, which also released an eight-CD box set of these albums plus a live recording following Chapin’s death in 1998.
12 November, 1923 – 16 June, 2009
Charlie Mariano was an American jazz alto saxophonist and soprano saxophonist. After his service in the Army, Mariano attended what was then known as Schillinger House of Music, now Berklee College of Music. He was among the faculty at Berklee from 1965–1971. Mariano moved to Europe in 1971, settling eventually in Köln (Cologne), Germany. He played with one of the Stan Kenton big bands, Toshiko Akiyoshi (his then-wife), Charles Mingus, Eberhard Weber, the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Embryo and numerous other notable bands and musicians.
13 November, 1928 – 27 May, 1977
Hampton Hawes was an American jazz pianist. He was the author of the memoir Raise Up Off Me, which won the Deems-Taylor Award for music writing in 1975. Hawes was self-taught; by his teens, he was playing with the leading jazz musicians on the West Coast, including Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, and Teddy Edwards. Hawes’ playing style developed in the early 1950s. He included “figures used by Parker and [Bud] Powell (but he played with a cleaner articulation than Powell), some Oscar Peterson phrases, and later, some Bill Evans phrases and an impressive locked-hands style in which the top notes always sang out clearly.” He also helped develop “the double-note blues figures and rhythmically compelling comping style that Horace Silver and others were to use in the mid-1950s.” His technique featured “great facility with rapid runs and versatile control of touch.
14 November, 1944
“Jazz musicians are the only workers who will put in a full shift for pay & then go somewhere else & continue to work for free.”
George Cables is an American jazz pianist and composer. Cables has played with Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson, and many other well-established jazz musicians. His own records include the 1980 Cables’ Vision with Freddie Hubbard among others. From 1983 Cables worked on the project Bebop & Beyond. He left later in the 1980s, but returned for guest appearances on two early 1990s albums, before rejoining in 1998.
15 November, 1957
Kevin Eubanks is an American jazz and fusion guitarist and composer. He was the leader of The Tonight Show Band with host Jay Leno from 1995 to 2010. He also led the Primetime Band on the short-lived The Jay Leno Show. After Eubanks moved to New York, he began performing with noted jazzmen such as Art Blakey (1980–81), Roy Haynes, Slide Hampton and Sam Rivers. His first recording as a leader, Guitarist, was released on the Elektra label when Eubanks was 25 years old. It led to a seven-album contract with the GRP label and four albums for Blue Note.
16 November, 1964
“But the greatest thing about music is putting it out there for people to figure out. You want the listener to find the song on their own. If you give too much away, it takes away from the imagination.”
Diana Krall is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer, known for her contralto vocals. She has sold more than 6 million albums in the US and over 15 million albums worldwide. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz Artist of the Decade (2000–09), establishing her as one of the best-selling artists of her time. Krall is the only jazz singer to have had eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums. To date, she has won three Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums.
17 November, 1966
Ben Allison is an American double bassist, composer, producer, bandleader, educator. In addition to his work as a performer, he co-founded the non-profit Jazz Composers Collective and served as its Artistic Director for twelve years. Allison is an adjunct professor at New School University and serves on the board of the New York chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, where he serves as President. In 2013, Allison formed his own record label, Sonic Camera Records. His first album on that label, The Stars Look Very Different Today, was released on December 3, 2013.
18 November, 1936
“Jazz is an art that makes a person completely naked.”
Don Cherry was an American jazz trumpeter. Cherry had a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, which began in the late 1950s. Cherry was also a pioneer in world fusion music in the 1960s and 1970s. Cherry learned to play various brass instruments in high school. Throughout his career, Cherry played pocket cornet (though Cherry identified this as a pocket trumpet), trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, and bugle.