Set by Mel Kinsey
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1/ Came to fame with his 1938 recording of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine” and was a rival to Benny Goodman through his prime. Also known for his colorful private life that included marriages to Lana Turner and Ava Gardner.
2/ Nicknamed "The First Lady of Song", "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" was the first hit for this woman honored by the NEA as the first vocal jazz master. Appeared in many tv commercials and endorsed brands like Memorex and KFC.
3/ Jazz pianist whose album The Köln Concert (1975) is the best-selling piano recording in history.
4/ Double bassist known for his talent and his fearsome temper as Piththe nickname "The Angry Man of Jazz" indicates. Noted for his albums Ecanthropus Erectus and Epitaph, he wrote the elegy "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" for the saxophonist in Question 9
5/ Pianist whose best-known compositions "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man", "Maiden Voyage", and "Chameleon" are now jazz standards. Known for his hit singles "I Thought It Was You" and "Rockit", his 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album to do. Practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism.
6./ Trumpeter whose Blood on the Fields became the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer for Music. His brother Branford is also an accomplished saxophonist.
7/ Nicknamed “Satchmo” and “Pops”, this trumpeter and Hot Five bandleader was called “the first superstar of jazz”. Ventured into films and was seen High Society(1956) and Hello, Dolly among others. An urban legend says that he invented scat signing when he missed the lyric sheet for “Heebie Jeebies”. Son of New Orleans which named its airport for him, he signed his letters with “Red beans and ricely yours…” referring to the city’s traditional dish.
8/ Nicknamed “Sassy” for her personality and “The Divine One” for her voice.
9/ Nicknamed “Prez”, this saxophonist was originally a member of Count Basie’s orchestra. The jazz standard “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” was written as an elegy to him. He gave the evocative nickname “Lady Day” to Billy Holiday.
10/ When you hear the words “Ethio-jazz”, only this name should pop.
11/ Founded the genre of free jazz with his 1960 album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation and his “Broadway Blues” and “Lonely Woman” have become genre standards. Won the 2007 music Pulitzer for the album Sound Grammar.
12/ This trumpeter who along with Charlie Parker was responsible for the development of bebop got his nickname because of his zany stage antics.
13/ Nicknamed “Jumbo” and “The Round Mound of Sound” for his girth, he had a friendly rivalry with Pete Fountain. Adapted Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” as a theme for the tv show The Green Hornet and had his biggest hit with “Java”.
14/ This bandleader got his name from a radio announcer who thought he was a jazz aristocrat like Duke Ellington. Formed his own orchestra in 1935 and lead it for 50 years and “One O’Clock Jump” became the theme of his band. Even made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’ 1974 film Blazing Saddles.
15/ This pianist composed the now standard “Waltz for Debby”.
16/ This icon and most-recorded jazz composer came to attention for his radio broadcasts from Harlem’s Cotton Club. After his death in 1974, his son Mercer took over his band. Collaborated with James Stewart on Anatomy of a Murder. Some of his iconic songs include “Mood Indigo”, “Satin Doll”, “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”, “Chelsea Bridge” and “Take the ‘A’ Train”.
17/ Called “the Maharaja of the Keyboard” by Duke Ellington, he is considered one of the all-time great jazz pianists and was frequently compared to Art Tatum.
18/ Synonymous with New Orleans jazz for decades, this clarinetist brought it to a national audience with his frequent television appearances especially on The Lawrence Welk Show and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.
19/ This pianist nicknamed “High Priest of Bebop” is the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington. Some of his hits are “Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser”, “Ruby, My Dear”, “In Walked Bud”, and “Well, You Needn’t”. He had his share of critics as not everyone was into his style of playing.
20/ Known for his song “Minnie the Moocher” featuring the catchy scat “Hi-de-ho”, he was the first African American musician to sell a million records from a single. One of his songs was the origin of the jitterbug swing dance.
21/ Saxophonist who collaborated with other greats through his career and whose albums A Love Supreme (1965) and Ascension (1966) are jazz classics. The song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music became his theme and he is also known for his complex harmonics on “Giant Steps”.
24/ His best known compositions are “Ain’t Misbehavin” from the 1929 Broadway musical Hot Chocolates and “Honeysuckle Rose” which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
23/ Clarinetist and bandleader with several nicknames including “King of Swing”, “Patriarch of the Clarinet”, “The Professor” and “Swing’s Senior Statesman”. His 1938 Carnegie Hall concert was described as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history”.
24/ One of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever, he originated the genre of cool jazz and his 1959 album Kind of Blue is often called the greatest jazz album of all time. Battled various forms of addictions throughout his life and had an on-and-off relationship with actress Cicely Tyson.
25/ Though this pianist is associated with the classic “Take Five” from Time Out, it was composed by his long-time musical partner Paul Desmond. Other noted compositions of his include “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke”.
26/ This jazz singer nicknamed “The Velvet Fog” composed music for the classic “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”). Multi-talented, he wrote many books including The Other Side Of The Rainbow, an account of his time as musical adviser for Judy Garland.
27/ Saxophonist who brought bossa nova to America with his 1964 hit “he Girl from Ipanema”.
28/ Saxophonist with a “soaring” nickname who invented bebop.
Charlie “Bird” Parker