Herbie Hancock premieres a new band lineup in concert Aug. 11 in Brooklyn. Douglas Kirkland/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Douglas Kirkland/Courtesy of the artist

Henry Threadgill calls his Pulitzer-winning piece, In for a Penny, In for a Pound, "an epic." John Rogers/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

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John Rogers/Courtesy of the Artist

Henry Threadgill Zooid, 'In For A Penny, In For A Pound (Opening)'

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Charenee Wade led a band featuring saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin in a program featuring the music of Gil Scott-Heron (and his collaborator, Brian Jackson). John Rogers for NPR hide caption

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John Rogers for NPR

Danish Afrobeat-inspired band The KutiMangoes pose for photos with the crowd at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival. Roh Seung-hwan/Courtesy of Jarasum International Jazz Festival hide caption

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Roh Seung-hwan/Courtesy of Jarasum International Jazz Festival

Paul Bley. Hans Kumpf/Courtesy of ECM Records hide caption

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Hans Kumpf/Courtesy of ECM Records

Paul Bley, Influential Jazz Pianist, Has Died

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Following her conversion to Catholicism, pianist Mary Lou Williams began to compose and record religious music. William Gottlieb/Library of Congress hide caption

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William Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Maria Schneider and Rudresh Mahanthappa didn't exactly tie for Best Album of the Year honors — but declaring a tie seems fitting to the quality of this year's list. Briene Lermitte/Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Briene Lermitte/Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artists

Vocalist Audrey Shakir will join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for this year's holiday show. Her son, saxophonist Walter Blanding, is a long-time Orchestra member. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Nina Simone's voice may have had a limited range, but its unique power and melancholy made for a legendary effect when paired with her genre-crossing piano. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

Lionel Hampton is one of many jazz greats buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City. Lee Sandstead/Courtesy of Woodlawn Cemetery hide caption

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Lee Sandstead/Courtesy of Woodlawn Cemetery

Ornette Coleman performs during the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2010. Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns/Getty Images

Ornette Coleman, Jazz Iconoclast, Dies At 85

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Bruce Lundvall attends a ceremony hosted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which produces the Grammy Awards. In addition to his role as record executive, he also once served as director of the Recording Academy. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images hide caption

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Noel Vasquez/Getty Images