At 100: These Performers Left An Indelible Mark On Jazz

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The musical similarities among all the folks below might be in short supply, but each of these performers irrevocably changed jazz. Whether it was through Art Blakey’s (he was actually born in 1919, but that’s pretty close) tutelage and encouragement of the best jazz composers ever to record or Dave Brubeck’s chart success, the music is better—and dramatically different—than it would have been otherwise.

Below, DownBeat salutes six iconic artists who were born 100 years ago. DB

Art Blakey, the Mightiest Mentor

The Sound and Myth of Charlie Parker at 100

Dave Brubeck’s Legacy Enters a New Era

Clark Terry Fostered Generations of Performers

Shelly Manne Cultivated a Unique Brand from Behind the Kit

Yusef Lateef, The ‘Evolutionist’



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    Bassist Christian McBride (left), saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Brad Mehldau reconvened in the studio after more than two decades for RoundAgain.

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    Mark Colby (1949–2020)

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    Kurt Rosenwinkel released Angels Around on his own label, Heartcore Records.

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    Saxophonist Kamasi Washington performs during the 2019 Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.

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    Joey DeFrancesco, widely celebrated as an organist, also sings and plays trumpet and tenor saxophone.