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Milton Brown

Artist Pages

...The bandleader and vocalist Milton Brown helped to develop the popular Western swing genre of the early twentieth century. Born in Texas in 1903, Brown graduated from high school and worked as a cigar salesman until the Great Depression...

Gil Evans

Artist Pages

...Gil Evans, born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1912, became a nexus for the emerging bebop and bop-derivative jazz genres that came out of New York City. Raised in Stockton, California, Evans moved to New York City permanently in 1946...

Bembeya Jazz

Artist Pages

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...As a prominent interpreter of Guinean folk music, Bembeya Jazz National combined Afropop with its nation’s musical culture to produce one of the continent’s most popular sounds. Following Guinean independence in 1958, bands were encouraged...
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...Paul Samuel Whiteman, nicknamed “the King of Jazz” in the 1920s, was a jazz musician, composer, and band leader. Whiteman was born on March 28, 1890, in Colorado, USA. He began his career before the start of the First World War as a viola...

Artie Shaw

Artist Pages

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...Artie Shaw was born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky on May 23, 1910, in New York, USA. Though well known as “one of jazz’s finest clarinetists,” Shaw started off playing the ukulele at age ten and the alto saxophone at age twelve. It was only when...

Bob Wills

Artist Pages

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...Bob Wills, also known as the “King of Western Swing,” leader of “Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys,” was born James Robert Wills on March 6, 1905, in Texas, USA. At an early age, he learned the mandolin, guitar, and violin—his signature...

W.C. Handy

Artist Pages

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...Through the compositions of W. C. Handy, the blues were transformed from a localized form to a national genre. Born in Florence, Alabama in 1873, Handy began his career as a laborer in a strict religious household. Against the wishes of his...
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...As the international face of Latin American music and culture in the mid-twentieth century, Carmen Miranda emerged from Brazil to become a Hollywood icon. Born in Portugal in 1905, Miranda was christened “Carmen” as a tribute to her...
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...Despite a short career, Charlie Christian proved to be one of the first major jazz electric guitarists. Christian was born in 1916 in Texas; the family relocated to Oklahoma, where he and his brothers were taught to play guitar...

Jimmy Dorsey

Artist Pages

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...Along with his brother Tommy, Jimmy Dorsey’s meteoric career as a leader of a big band and as a clarinetist maintained relevance through the twentieth century. Born in Pennsylvania in 1904, Dorsey began playing trumpet but, by 1915, had...