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

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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Trumpet player and so much more, Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela

*Hugh Masekela born this date in 1939.  He is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer.

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Abbey Lincoln, Singer and much more

Abbey Lincoln

*Abbey Lincoln was born on this date in 1930.  She was an African American singer, composer and actress. 


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Conrad Johnson, Teacher and Musician

Conrad Johnson

*On this date in 1915, Conrad Johnson was born.  He was an African American jazz saxophonist and music teacher.

From Victoria, Texas Conrad O. Johnson was nine when his family moved to Houston. Following studies at Yates High School, he attended Houston College for Negroes and graduated from Wiley College. He was a active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

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An early jazz trumpet, Bunk Johnson

Bunk Johnson

*On this date we remember the birth of Bunk Johnson in 1879. He was an African American musician and composer.

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Roy Eldridge played more than just Bebop

Roy Eldridge

*On this date Roy Eldridge was born in 1911. He was an African American jazz musician.

A fiery trumpet player and a key figure in the instrument's lineage, Roy Eldridge was an outstanding improvisational stylist. Eldridge was born in Pittsburgh, and after paying his dues with regional bands in the Midwest, moved to New York in 1930. In 1935 he joined Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, then led his own group before joining Gene Krupa in 1941. Through extensive tours and recordings, the Krupa engagement brought him to prominence.

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