Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans, how’s that for a moniker? Better known as Toots Thielmans, he was born April 29, 1922 in Brussels, Belgium. Toots was a jazz musician/composer and was known for his virtuoso harmonica playing, especially with Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Kenny Werner. Toots retired in 2014. He played accordion at the…

After his work with Parker, Gillespie led other small combos (including ones with Milt Jackson, John Coltrane, Lalo Schifrin, Ray Brown, Kenny Clarke, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, and Yusef Lateeef) and finally put together his first successful big band. Gillespie and his band tried to popularize bop and make Gillespie a symbol of the new…

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. AllMusic’s Scott Yanow wrote, “Dizzy Gillespie’s contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries…