Jazz Musicians


The Musical Lineup for the Opening of the African American History Museum Is Announced and It's Great

The 'Freedom Sounds' Festival includes D.C. Go-Go band Experience Unlimited, Public Enemy, The Roots, Living Colour and more

Sarah Vaughan by Herman Leonard, 1949

Jazz Has Never Looked Cooler Than It Does in This New Exhibition

These evocative images by photographer Herman Leonard call to mind a bygone era

Louis Armstrong's historic trumpet was a "great playing" instrument, says Wynton Marsalis, after his performance last Fall at the Smithsonian.

To Really Appreciate Louis Armstrong's Trumpet, You Gotta Play it. Just Ask Wynton Marsalis

It’s not always the white-glove treatment; some artifacts live on through performance

This conception of jazz as a means of bringing people together is manifested nowhere better than in Benny Carter (above, 1986).

It’s Springtime and Jazz Is In Bloom

This year's Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the singularly talented alto saxophonist Benny Carter

Wayne Shorter and McCoy Tyner at Shorter's April 29, 1964 session for "Night Dreamer" at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

These Rarely Seen Images Show Jazz Greats Pouring Out Their Hearts

Frank Wolff's gritty portraits, the hallmark of Blue Note Records, became a visual catalog of jazz in action

Don Cheadle stars as Miles Davis in the new film Miles Ahead.

Smithsonian Jazz Expert Gives Liner Notes to the New Miles Davis Biopic

The American History Museum's James Zimmerman dives into Miles Davis' sound and style

David Baker directing the SJMO in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Jazz Legend David Baker’s Soaring Legacy

Smithsonian's maestro, a founding director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, has died at the age of 84

Jon Batiste and Stay Human perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Why Jon Batiste Is the Perfect Choice to Be the “Late Night” Bandleader

The tall, lanky jazz musician will bring his unique talents to television this fall

Jack Kevorkian stands in front of one of his paintings.

Listen to Dr. Kevorkian's Jazz-Funk Album

The man called "Dr. Death" created a complex and surprising body of artistic work

Revelers two-step at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

How Do You Dance to Jazz?

The attendees at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival taught our music writer a step or two

Louis Armstrong playing in Rome in 1959. You can visit his house in Queens, New York, and see how he lived for the last 30 years of his life.

Where to Celebrate the History of American Jazz

These six spots are just a short riff on what makes the musical genre particular to the United States

Jazz singer Billie Holiday wears a large white flower in her hair for a performance in New York City.

What Makes Billie Holiday's Music So Powerful Today

Musicians including Cassandra Wilson pay homage to the jazz legend with new albums for Lady Day's 100th birthday

Billy Strayhorn playing piano in a home, May 26th,1952.

This New Collection of 12,000 Photographs Chronicles the American Jazz Scene

A donation from the family of photographer and historian Duncan Schiedt captures the music's "essence"

Depicted in Big Band are: Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Jerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Glen Miller, Charles Mingus, JJ Johnson, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Gene Krupa.

LeRoy Nieman Pulled Together a Dream Band for His Epic Portrait of Jazz Greats

The iconic artist's large-scale painting of this century's music greats debuts at the American History Museum, kicking off Jazz Appreciation Month

One of three instruments Coltrane would use as he blazed through the next two years, reinventing himself—and jazz music— at a pace many found exhausting.

Fifty Years Ago This Month, John Coltrane Recorded One of the Greatest Jazz Tracks of All Time

This Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone was one of three instruments that John Coltrane played to reinvent himself—and Jazz music


Norwegian Nobel Winners Release Their Inner Avant-Garde Musicians

Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine repurposed a Norse folk tune for a science lecture


Watch How Jim Henson Animated Jazz With Tiny, Dancing Strips of Paper

Jim Henson had a soft spot for jazz

Chris Raschka's new children's book tells the true story of Sun Ra, an eccentric jazz musician.

There Once was a Jazz Musician Who Came Here from Saturn

Author and Illustrator Chris Raschka wants his new children's book to teach kids about the icons of jazz.

Duke Ellington and band members playing baseball in front of their segregated motel ("Astor Motel") while touring in Florida.

Rare Footage of Duke Ellington Highlights When Jazz and Baseball Were in Perfect Harmony

The Smithsonian's curator of American music explains how the history of two great American innovations—Jazz and baseball—are intertwined

New to the collections: John Coltrane's 1965 Mark VI tenor saxophone

A Sax Supreme: John Coltrane's Legendary Instrument Joins the Collections of the American History Museum

Ravi Coltrane, son of jazz musicians John and Alice Coltrane, donates one of his father's three saxophones

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