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Legendary trumpet-player Dizzy Gillespie may have earned his nickname from being a joker, but he took his music very seriously and studied hard to become the success he was
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Echoes of Bill Evans's sound can still be heard in today's jazz and popular music. Find out what it is about his playing that makes him just as relevant now as he ever was.
Elvin Jones is one of the most influential drummers of all time. Find out how is unique style inspired the rock drummers of the future.
All drummers are loud and aggressive? This may have been the view held by many until Jo Jones arrived on the scene and turned drumming in to a delicate and beautiful art form
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One night, when he was just 15, the self-taught pianist Art Blakey suddenly decided to take up the instrument that would make him a legend, the drums. It may have had something to do with the gun pointed at him...
How did the young, partially-sighted Art Tatum learn about music and become one of jazz’s most brilliant pianists?
Billie Holiday is still a huge inspiration to vocalists today. But what was it that made her voice so unique?
The Duke Ellington Orchestra emerged during the mid-1920s. Find out about the new kind of jazz Ellington wrote for its exciting new line-up.
Unlike Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton was an improviser as well as a pianist and composer – so what kind of effect did this have on his ragtime?
Tenor saxophonist Lester Young’s soft sound and sparer playing style differed greatly to that of his contemporary Coleman Hawkins. Find out how.
The advent of network radio, Goodman’s brilliant clarinet playing, and the excellent musicians he had round him all contributed to making Goodman an overnight success.
Count Basie’s band set dance-halls jumping throughout the late 1930s - and its thrilling sound still typifies much big-band jazz today.
Ragtime came before jazz, but eventually overlapped into it. Scott Joplin became the ‘King of Ragtime’, but what were his most famous contributions?
No one player invented jazz, but Louis Armstrong came close. Find out how his inspired playing opened up a whole new musical world.
Sidney Bechet helped to pioneer ‘swing’ - but what exactly is ‘swing’ and how did it differ from earlier jazz styles like ragtime?
Few jazz musicians have had a career as diverse as Herbie Hancock, taking in electronics and African and Western classical music along the way. Gareth Williams explores his early piano influences.
Hawkins was a well-trained musician who developed quickly and soon got noticed. Find out how he used Louis Armstrong as a model for his playing.
Discover why Keith Jarrett's music has been able to cross so many barriers, and appeal to so many different finds of listeners.
McCoy Tyner has worked with some of the great jazz players of the past and today still follows a solo career well into his 60s - find out more about this living legend.
Clifford Brown could well have been one of the great jazz musicians of his generation until a fatal accident cut short a promising career
When a young trumpet-player called Miles Davis replaced Dizzy Gillispie in Charlie Parker's bebop band the sound of jazz was set to change forever. The Cool was about to be born…
Introducing some jazz legends. Including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Elvin Jones
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