Thanks to prohibition and trains, the Canadian city became known as a nightlife capital. A web documentary traces how Oscar Peterson and others emerged from the black neighborhood of Little Burgundy.
The music is only about 100 years old, but it's already seen scores of geniuses creating joyful noises against all odds. We examine time-honored masterpieces and tell the narratives around them — and in doing so, refract the cultural history of the United States and beyond.
When he was studying jazz in the '50s and becoming a revered guitarist, Kenny Burrell vowed to teach the subject one day. Now, decades after his first class, he's never committed more to music education.
The highest federally supported award for jazz artistry goes to four individuals this year. In a live performance from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Anthony Braxton, Richard Davis, Jamey Aebersold and Keith Jarrett are honored.
Faced with a rapid tempo one night, Kenny Clarke devised a new way to play the beat on the ride cymbal. His "spang-a-lang," and the rhythmic ideas it generated, wound up transforming the way we feel swing ever after.
Whether famous or obscure, dozens of artists, producers, documentarians and others who contributed to the music's growth left us last year. Here's a thorough list — and 12 who didn't make all the headlines.
A linchpin of "cool" jazz in the 1950s and '60s, he assembled bands that came to be described as chamber jazz, full of unusual textures and future star talent. Hamilton, who continued performing into his ninth decade, was 92.
He had gigs before and enjoyed prominent freelance work afterward. But the mellow saxophone and flute player's career was kickstarted by spending more than a decade in the front row of Count Basie's "New Testament" band.
The late South African vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin is remembered as her country's greatest jazz singer, who brought deliberation and questions of identity to her music. But she only launched her own career, from the shadow of her famous husband Abdullah Ibrahim, after several false starts.
The late author and cultural theorist's career was dedicated to proving that American culture wasn't black and white, but both at once. In doing so, he called upon jazz as his chief example, devising many of the ways the music is now commonly perceived.
The bluesy, commanding improviser rose to eminence in the '50s and '60s with bands like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, where he played a starring role and established himself as a deft small-group composer. Walton continued to perform and record his entire life.