Music

Composers, musicians, and singers who have contributed to this Black genre.

From the Delta to the world, Cassandra Wilson


Cassandra Wilson

*Cassandra Wilson was born on this date in 1955. She is an African American singer, and songwriter.

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Ornette Coleman, more than Jazz


Ornette Coleman

*Ornette Coleman was born on this date in 1930. He is an African American musician and composer.

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From "E" Street to the world, Clarence Clemons


Clarence Clemons, 2009

*Clarence Clemons was born on this date in 1942. He was an African American musician.

Clarence Anicholas Clemons was from Norfolk, VA. His father owned a fish market and his grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher, and although he grew up surrounded by gospel music, the young Clemons was captivated by rock ’n’ roll. He was given an alto saxophone at age 9 as a Christmas gift; later, following the influence of King Curtis whose many credits include the jaunty sax part on the Coasters’ 1958 hit “Yakety Yak” he switched to the tenor.

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Terence Blanchard, a son of New Orleans


Terence Blanchard

*Terence Blanchard was born on this date in 1962. He is an African American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and film score composer.

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Dee Dee Bridgewater, a global performer


Dee Dee Bridgewater

*Dee Dee Bridgewater was born on this date in 1950. She is an African American singer, producer and actress. 

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Valerie Capers, musican and educator


Valerie Capers

*Valerie Capers was born on this date in 1935.  She is an African American musician and educator.

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Carlos Posadas, African influence in Tango


Carlos Posadas

*Carlos Posadas was born on this date in 1874. He was an Afro-Argentinean musician and composer.

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Mr. Piano, Billy Taylor


Billy Taylor

*Billy Taylor was born on this date in 1921.  He was an African American composer, educator, broadcaster and piano player.

From Greenville, NC, William Billy Taylor, Sr. graduated from Virginia State College in 1942. He moved to New York and played with such major musicians as Ben Webster, Eddie South, and Slam Stewart among others.   In 1944 he recorded with Stuff Smith. In 1951 he was the house pianist at Birdland and soon afterward Taylor formed his first of many trios.

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Teddy Pendergrass, deep and sexy


Teddy Pendergrass

*Teddy Pendergrass was born on this date 1950. He was an African American singer and entertainer.

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Rev. Gary Davis born


Rev. Gary Davis and Megan Ochs

*Rev. Gary Davis was born on this date in 1896. He was an African American minister and Blues musician.

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