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Jazz Birthdays - July 31

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Hank Jones – Kenny Burrell

Hank Jones – (1943 – 2010)
World-class  jazz pianist Hank Jones, who is perhaps best known for a two-minute gig accompanying Marilyn Monroe when she sang "Happy Birthday" to JFK at Madison Square Garden in 1962.
Jones  played with almost every major jazz musician while touring and recording until his death.
He played piano and conducted for the 1970s musical "Ain't Misbehavin'," in which he replicated Fats Waller's stride piano.
Born in Mississippi to a musical family that included trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Elvin Jones, he was an early convert to the bebop school of the 1940s.
During that decade he accompanied artists like Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins.
He played in bands with Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Billy Eckstine and others and joined international tours with Ella Fitzgerald in the Jazz at the Philharmonic program of the 1950s.
He joined CBS as staff pianist in 1959 and was often heard on the "Ed Sullivan Show" accompanying singers like Frank Sinatra.
In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award.[3] He was also honored in 2003 with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award.[4] In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. On April 13, 2009, the University of Hartford presented Jones with a Doctorate Degree for his musical accomplishments.

Kenny Burrell - 1931-
After 40 years as a jazz professional, appearing on several hundred albums as leader and sideman, Kenny Burrell is among the handful of guitar greats who have forever changed the role of their instrument.
"Master instrumentalist and composer," "virtuoso," "historic figure of American guitar." "Ellington's favorite guitar player" - this is a typical sampling of the critical praise routinely bestowed on Burrell, who pioneered the guitar-led trio with bass and drums in the late Fifties.
Kenny is a man who has garnered the respect of the entire jazz world. "He's one of jazz's most gracious gentlemen," says pianist Mike Wofford, "an educator and spokesperson for the entire tradition of American Jazz, Kenny is truly a goodwill ambassador for our music, and more importantly, a representative of the best in our society."

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Last modified on Friday, 15 August 2014 14:07

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