Past Performers Timeline

Bola Sete – 1960’s
Played classical guitar & lutar – a lute-shaped guitar of his own design. (b Rio de Janeiro, July 16, 1923; d Greenbrae, CA, Feb 14, 1987) He played with Vince Guaraldi & Dizzie Gillespie. He was harmonically influenced by jazz, while he was grounded by his Brazilian roots.

Eddie Henderson – 1970’s
Trumpet. Born in New York 10/26/40. He studied formally at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was encouraged by Miles Davis to give up his career as a doctor to pursue a life of music. He worked with John Handy, Pharoah Sanders & Stanley Cowell.

Shelly Manne -1970’s
Drummer (b New York, June 11, 1920; d Los Angeles, September 26, 1984) in the forefront of the West Coast jazz scene, he played with nearly everyone, including Conte Condoli, Teddy Wilson & Milt Hinton. He also ran his own jazz club, Shelly’s Manne-hole.

Art Pepper – 1970’s
Alto saxophone. (b Gardenia, CA Sept 1, 1925; d Panorama, CA June 1, 1982) His playing was fiery and more powerful than his other West Coast counterparts. His life was marred by drug abuse & a series of jail terms.

Vince Guaraldi – 1973
Piano. (b San Francisco July 17, 1928; d Menlo Park, CA, February 6, 1976) Best known for the jazz-oriented scores he wrote for the Charlie Brown television shows. He worked with Woody Herman, Cal tjader & Conte Condoli.

Teddy Wilson – 1975
Piano. (b Austin, TX, November 24, 1912 d New Britian, CT, July 31, 1986) Perhaps one of the most important pianists of the swing period. He had a very percussive style reminiscent of Earl Hines. He worked with Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday & Lester Young.

Billy Higgins – 1978
Drummer. (b Los Angeles 10/11/36). One of the most recorded drummers in jazz, he1s recorded with Steve Lacy, Donald Byrd, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen & Cedar Walton, to name a few. He plays a restrained, loosely swinging style.

Hampton Hawes – 1979
Piano. (b Los Angeles November 13, 1928. d Los Angeles May 22, 1977) Self-taught, he played with such people as Dexter Gordon & Charlie Parker. He was known for his rhythmic style & articulation of rapid melodic lines.

Max Roach -1979
Drummer & composer. (b New Land, NC 1/10/24) Max Roach has played with just about everyone. He’s famous for his early involvement with Charlie Parker & Dizzie Gillespie, and has participated in all forms of jazz. As a Drummer, along with Kenny Clark, he has established a poly-rhythmic style used by nearly all drummers today.

Sonny Stitt – 1979
Alto & tenor saxophone. Born in Boston 2/2/24. Died in Washington 7/22/82. He played in the Charlie Parker bebop fashion. Moved from alto to tenor in the 1950s. He replaced John Coltrane in the Miles Davis Quintet in 1960. He toured in various all-star groups, such as the Giants of Jazz featuring Dizzie Gillespie, Thelonious Monk & Art Blakey.

Bill Evans – 1980
Piano. (b Plainfield, NJ on 8/16/29. d New York 9/15/80). One of the most influential jazz musicians of his generation, he developed a bop language based on the style for bud Powell. Working relationships with double bass players were of significance in Evans1s career. He worked closely with such bassists as Scott LaFaro, Eddie Gomez & Gary Peacock.

Dexter Gordon – 1980
Tenor sax. (b LA, 2/27/23) With such influences as Sonny Rollins & John Coltrane, he was a major influence on the modern tenor saxophone style. He was a prolific improviser who never ran out of ideas.

George Adams & Don Pullen -1981
George Adams played the tenor sax & flute. (b Covington, GA 4/29/40) Don Pullen played piano. (b Roanoke, VA 12/25/41). Both played many styles of jazz and rhythm & blues. They brought the sound from their work with the Charles Mingus band to the Bach Society in 1981.  

Stan Getz – 1983
Tenor sax. (b Philadelphia 2/2/27). His swinging melodic style was very much in the vibrato-less tone of Lester Young. His fusion of jazz & bossa nova was instrumental in restoring jazz’s popularity in the 1970’s.

Lew Tabackin -1984
Tenor sax & flute. (b Philadelphia 3/26/40) Co-led the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band and doubled as the principle soloist. Played with Roland Hanna, Donald Byrd & Elvin Jones.  

Zoot Sims – 1985
Tenor sax. (b Inglewood, CA 10/29/25. d New York 3/23/85). Having grown up in a family of Vaudeville artists, he toured with dance bands and in 1943 began playing with Benny Goodman. He toured with the band until the early 1970s. He had a tireless, exuberant & driving sense of swing.

Milt Hinton – 1987
a.k.a. “The Judge”. Bass. (b Vixburg, MI 7/23/10. d 12/2000?) He was a member of Cab Calloway’s band from 1936 -1951. Also played with Count Basie & Louis Armstrong. Much in demand for his full tone & impeccable swing, he became the mainstay in many rhythm sections.

Joe Pass — 1987
Guitar. Born in New Brunswick, NJ 1/13/29. Remaining an obscurity until 1973, he immediately dominated the jazz popularlarity polls upon his arrival on the scene. By the 1980s he was probably the most widely recorded jazz artist, accompanying such artists as Sarah Vaughn & Ella Fitzgerald.  

James Moody – 1990’s
Alto & tenor sax & flute. (b Savannah, GA 2/26/25) After working with Dizzie Gillespie throughout the 1940s, he formed a septet and played R & B influenced jazz. Worked with Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt.  

Jerome Richardson – 1990’s
Reeds. (b Sealy, TX 11/15/20 ) Extremely versatile and adaptable, but particularly effective on the tenor sax & flute, he has played with such artists as Lionel Hampton, Gerald Wilson & Earl Hines.

Ernie Watts – 1991
Sax. (b Norfolk, VA 10/23/45) Originally touring with Buddy Rich from 1966 – 1968, he moved to L A & began working as a studio musician. He’s recorded with Cannonball Adderly, J. J. Johnson, and received a grammy award in 1982 for his work on the soundtrack to the film Chariots of Fire.

Ray Brown – 1994
Bassist, was (b Pittsburg, 10/13/26. Ray Brown is probably the most notable bass player in the history of jazz. He developed a legato style of walking bass, anchoring the bottom on many early bop recordings. His style revolutionized bass playing, and has been incorporated into the language of the bass. His influence reaches all who touch the bass.  

Jeff Hamilton – 1994
Drummer, (b Richmond, IN 8/4/53) he worked with Lionel Hampton & Monty Alexander, and succeeded Shelly Manne as the drummer in the L A Four in 1978. He plays many styles of music.

Andy Simpkins – 1997
Bass. (b Richmond, IN 4/29/32). A founding member of the Four Sounds in 1956, which in the following year became the Three Sounds. Remained in the band until 1968. Performed with Stephane Grappelli & Claire Fischer. His driving legato style was drenched in swing.

Louie Bellson – 1998
Drums. (b Rock Falls, IL 7/26/24) Played with Benny Goodman at age 17. He became the leading big band drummer, playing with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey & Benny Goodman. He1s known for inventing the double bass drum.  

Milt Jackson – 1998
a.k.a. “Bags”.(b Detroit 1/1/23). Known mostly for his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. He was one of the first vibraphonists to master the bop style, and is regarded as one of the finest performers on his instrument in the history of jazz.

Steve Lacy – 1998
Soprano sax. (b New York 7/23/34). Known for his avant – garde style. He’s very influenced by Thelonious Monk, and continues to play much of his repertoire. Performed with Carla Blay & Gil Evans.

Gerry Wiggins – 1998
Piano. (b New York 5/12/22). Has/had a firm touch and an all around musicianship. Worked with Lena Horne, Helen Humes, Benny Carter & Louis Armstrong.