Jazz Master of the Month

Each month, WEAA honors one legend of jazz. Learn more about the artist and his or her work.

The word “genius” is thrown around so often that when it truly should be used, it’s often not taken seriously. Make no mistake—Erroll Louis Garner was a genius.

Born in 1933 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Gene Harris began teaching himself piano when he was nine years old. Admiring the playing style of pianist Oscar Peterson, Harris started touring and leading his own bands immediately after leaving the military service in 1954. 

By some standards James Spaulding is considered to be under-recognized and under-appreciated. But most Jazz fans know him as one of the most critically acclaimed alto saxophonists and flautists in the business. 

Simply JACO

Jan 8, 2015

Jazz Master of the Month

November, 2014

Jaco Pastorius, the multi-talented musician known by practically everyone on a first name basis, literally revolutionized bass playing from jazz, rock, country, hip-hop, and beyond. From Africa to America he and his sound have been described simply by saying his name…JACO. His unprecedented originality both technically and “improvisationally” is studied and imitated by every bassist (in some way or another) to this day.

"The Black Saint" Billy Harper Plays On

Jan 7, 2015

Jazz Master of the Month

January, 2015

Saxophonist Billy Harper, aka “The Black Saint,” was born in Houston on January 17, 1943. He was already singing in spiritual ensembles at age five and formed his first Billy Harper Quintet in his last years of high school, He went on to graduate cum laude from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Music degree.