Monday, April 1, 2013

Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington Birthday Broadcasts

April is a big month for jazz birthdays, and WKCR, New York City radio, will be celebrating in style, with 3 24 hour birthday broadcasts.

Billie Holiday, born April 7, 1915, in Baltimore, Md. had a distinctive style, and revolutionized jazz vocals.  She was given the name of Lady Day by her close friend and musical partner Lester Young, whom she met during her time with Count Basie.  Holiday's trademark was the emotion that came through the interpretations of the songs, many of which were popular standards.

Charles Mingus, born April 22, 1922 in Nogales, Az. was a bassist, pianist, band leader and composer.  Mingus said that his music comes from the black church, Duke Ellington, and Art Tatum.  He used many talented musicians to interpret his compositions, including, John Handy, Eric Dolphy, Clarence Eugene Shaw, Roland Kirk, Jimmy Knepper, and his long term drummer, Danny Richmand.

Edward Kennedy Ellington, born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. was America's greatest composer.  His legendary career spanned over 70 years.  The maestro has said that his music comes from the blues, and that his orchestra is his instrument.  He is the author of thousands of compositions, many of which were classical.  Some of Duke's influential works were the extended suites, such as Black, Brown and Beige, Sophisticated Lady, and Jump For Joy. 

These music legends will be honored on their birthdays at

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