The tenor saxophonist is one of the jazz world's greatest improvisational artists. At the tender age of 23, he played with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. In the early 1950s, he joined the Clifford Brown-Max Roach quintet. He also began a critically-acclaimed solo career. Now in his sixties, he feels obligated to carry on the vision of his own mentors to today's rising stars. His latest album, "Old Flames," focuses on jazz standards and features Sonny backed by a brass section.
The jazz musician has spent most of his life on the road. Long after the golden era of the big bands, Herman continues to lead a large ensemble, all the while keeping up with contemporary jazz and pop music.
Jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. He introduced the vibes to the jazz world and remains one of it's undisputed masters. In the 1930's he played with the Benny Goodman's band -- being one of the first blacks to play with a white band. He's just written an autobiography, "Hamp." Al Capone and Louis Armstrong also play surprising roles in his life.
Jazz bassist Ron Carter has more than 2,000 recordings to his credit. From 1963-1968 he was part of the Miles Davis Quintet with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter. Over the years he's played with Randy Weston, Herbie Mann, Betty Carter, Eric Dolphy, Sony Rollins, McCoy Tyner and others. Carter's new CD is Stardust.
Jazz pianist and composer McCoy Tyner grew up in West Philadelphia. In his early career, he worked as John Coltrane's pianist and recorded over twenty albums with the legend. Tyner has been recording on his own since 1965, and his influence is clear in the style of younger players. Tyner will perform and attend a concert in his honor at the upcoming Cool Jazz Festival.
Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz dropped out of school and went on the road at 15. He only took a few lessons on his instrument, instead learning by playing with other musicians. He's been popular in both jazz and pop. His latest album is Apasionado.
Trumpeter and cornet player Nat Adderley is the son of a jazz musician and the brother of saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. Adderley joins the show to discuss his musical journey, career, and the current state of jazz.
The performer, composer, and professor is one of bop's progenitors. He continues to innovate with his Double Quartet, which incorporates strings into a more conventional jazz combo. He became an activist during the civil rights movement, and often incorporated his politics into his music.
Author, jazz writer and musician, Stuart Nicholson. He is an expert on and biographer of late jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. Through interviews with those closest to her,. "Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz" (1994, Charlse Scribner's Sons) shows the public and private side of the media-shy legend. In her career of over 60 years, she gained the admiration of her contemporaries in the business. At the age of 79 and after years of suffering from diabetes, Fitzgerald died Saturday (June 15) at her home in California.
As a black gay kid growing up in Texas in the 1990s, poet Saeed Jones remembers getting negative messages about his identity from every aspect of his life. It was around the time of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming, and Jones felt alone and unsafe.