Synopsis Born on March 27, 1924, in Newark, New Jersey, Sarah Vaughan grew up with a love of music and performing. Winning a talent competition held at Harlem's Apollo Theater launched her singing career. She worked with bandleaders Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine before becoming a successful solo performer who commingled pop and jazz. At… Continue reading Profile: Sarah Vaughan
Born in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald turned to singing after a troubled childhood and debuted at the Apollo Theater in 1934. Discovered in an amateur contest, she went on to become the top female jazz singer for decades. In 1958, Fitzgerald made history as the first African-American woman to win a Grammy Award. Due in no small… Continue reading Profile: Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
Billie Holiday Biography Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday was born in 1915 in Philadelphia. Considered one of the best jazz vocalists of all time, Holiday had a thriving career as a jazz singer for many years before she lost her battle with substance abuse. Also known as Lady Day, her autobiography was made into the 1972… Continue reading Profile: Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
Who Was John Coltrane? John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926, in Hamlet, North Carolina. During the 1940s and '50s, he continued to develop his craft as a saxophonist and composer, working with famed musicians/bandleaders Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Coltrane turned the jazz world on its head with technically marvelous, innovative playing that was thrillingly… Continue reading Profile: John Coltrane (1926-1967)
Who Was Miles Davis? Instrumental in the development of jazz, Miles Davis is considered one of the top musicians of his era. Born in Illinois in 1926, he traveled at age 18 to New York City to pursue music. Throughout his life, he was at the helm of a changing concept of jazz. Winner of… Continue reading Profile: Miles Davis
What is Jazz? Jazz is a kind of music in which improvisation is typically an important part. In most jazz performances, players play solos which they make up on the spot, which requires considerable skill. There is tremendous variety in jazz, but most jazz is very rhythmic, has a forward momentum called "swing," and uses… Continue reading What is Jazz?