13 centenaries of jazz artists to celebrate in 2018

Along with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, there will be a number of important centenaries to celebrate in 2018, including ones of a number of notable jazz artists born in 1918. Here are 13 to keep an eye out for. (Note: The list is in chronological order).

February 20: Pianist, arranger, and bandleader Phil Moore. Born in Portland, Oregon. Died on May 13, 1987, in Los Angeles, California.

March 6: Trumpeter Howard McGhee. One of the first bebop trumpeters. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Died on July 17, 1987, in New York City, New York.

March 20: Pianist, composer, and writer Marian McPartland. Named an NEA Jazz Master in 2000 and recipient of a GRAMMY Award for lifetime achievement in 2004. Born in Slough, United Kingdom. Died on August 20, 2013.

March 21: Swing and bebop pianist, organist, composer, and arranger Charles Thompson. dubbed Sir Charles Thompson by dubbed Sir Charles Thompson by Lester Young. Born in Springfield, Ohio. Died on June 16, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.

June 14: Bassist John Simmons. Born in Haskell, Oklahoma. Died on September 19, 1979.

July 31: Pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer Hank Jones. Named an NEA Jazz Master in 1989. Recorded more than 60 albums under his own name and played piano as actress Marilyn Monroe sang her famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” song to then U.S. president John F. Kennedy in 1962. Born Vicksburg, Mississippi. Died on May 16, 2010 in Bronx, New York.

August 19: Pianist, vocalist, composer, and bandleader Jimmy Rowles. Born in Spokane, Washington. Died on May 28, 1996, in Burbank, California.

September 4: Trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator Gerald Wilson. Named an NEA Jazz Master in 1990. Born in Shelby, Mississippi. Died on September 8, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.

October 5: Double bassist James Blanton. Credited with being the originator of more complex pizzicato and arco bass solos in a jazz context than previous bassists. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Died on July 30, 1942.

November 24: Pianist, organist, and arranger Wild Bill Davis. Pioneer of the electric organ in jazz. Born in Gasgow, Missouri. Died on August 17, 1995 in Moorestown, New Jersey.

December 12: Vocalist Joe Williams. His 1955 recording of “Every Day I Have the Blues” with Count Basie was added to the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1992. Born in Cordele, Georgia. Died on March 29, 1999 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

December 21: Drummer Panama Francis. His drumsticks are on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Born in Miami Florida. Died on November 13, 2001 in Orlando, Florida.

December 30: Pianist and arranger Jimmy Jones. Born in Memphis, Mississippi. Died on April 29, 1982 in Burbank, California.

Matt Micucci
Matt Micucci

Matt Micucci is the Online Editor of JAZZIZ Magazine.

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