Steve Coleman practices in his backyard in Allentown, Penn. Jeff Fusco/Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Fusco/Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Stefano Bollani (center) and the musicians who back him on the new album Joy in Spite of Everything. From left: Mark Turner, Bill Frisell, Jesper Bodilsen, Morten Lund. Paolo Soriani/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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On a new record called Connections: Mind the Gap, tuba player Bob Stewart sums up his career with a showcase of the instrument's versatility. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Mobbed by teenage girls wherever he went, Billy Eckstine at one time rivaled Frank Sinatra's popularity. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Charles Gayle was honored with a lifetime achievement award at this year's Vision Festival. On the event's opening night, Gayle performed as his alter ego, Streets the Clown. John Rogers for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Rogers for NPR

"In my music I speak of unknown things, impossible things, ancient things, potential things," Sun Ra said in a 1980 documentary. May 22, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the composer and bandleader's birth. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world. His latest project, Quiet Pride, is based on works by the late sculptor and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration. Lauren Migaki/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Migaki/NPR

Izzat Majeed address a crowd in New York during a collaborative concert between Sachal Studios musicians and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The Lahore-born philanthropist founded a recording studio and provided opportunities for musicians in Pakistan. Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images hide caption

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The late virtuoso bassist Jaco Pastorius enjoyed only a relatively brief career, but was influential to musicians across genres. Courtesy of JPI hide caption

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Herbie Hancock speaks at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Induction Ceremony 2013 at Harvard University. The JJA awarded the pianist with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday. Gail Oskin/Getty Images hide caption

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John Coltrane during the recording of A Love Supreme in December 1964. Chuck Stewart/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History hide caption

itoggle caption Chuck Stewart/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Karen Marie Richardson (right) plays the title role in the Long Beach Opera's staging of Queenie Pie, the jazz opera Duke Ellington left unfinished when he died in 1974. Bryan Frank/Long Beach Opera hide caption

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