Terell Stafford was born on November 25, 1966 in Miami Florida and raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland. Originally a classical trumpet player, he soon branched out to jazz with the University of Maryland jazz band. He went on to get a degree in music education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a degree in classical trumpet performance from Rutgers University in 1993.
Soon afterwards his career in jazz picked up and playing with McCoy Tyner, Christian McBride, John Clayton, Steve Turre, Dave Valentin and Russell Malone. In 1995 he released his debut album Time To Let Go on the Candid label. Not one to settle for the status quo of who’s who, he has found other up-and-comers such as bassist Derrick Hodge, who appears as a sideman on his 2003 MaxJazz release New Beginnings.
As an educator Stafford is the current Director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, has worked with the Juilliard School’s jazz program at the Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington program, and with the 2006 All-Alaska Jazz Band.
In between his teaching responsibilities trumpeter Terell Stafford has performed at Carnegie Hall, has been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, recorded nine CDs, performed as a sideman with Stephen Scott, Shirley Scott, Bobby Watson, Lafayette Harris, Cecil Brooks III, Tim Warfield, Ed Wiley, Cornell Dupree, Herbie Mann, Victor Lewis, Marc Cary, Melissa Walker Ferit Odman, Jack cooper, Bruce Barth and the Arkadia Jazz All Stars as he continues to perform, record and tour.
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Scott Joplin was November 24, 1867 or 1868 in Northeast Texas into a musical family of railway laborers and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. Growing up in Texarkana, he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around the Southern states as an itinerant musician.
By 1893 he was in Chicago, Illinois for the World’s Fair and played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897. Joplin moved to Sedalia, Missouri in 1894, earned a living as a piano teacher and taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. He began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his “Maple Leaf Rag” in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime and brought the composer a steady income for life. Though he never reached this level of success again, he would frequently have financial problems, causing him to lose a be forever lost, the score to his first opera A Guest of Honor for non-payment of bills.
Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901, continued composing and publishing music, and regularly performed in the St. Louis community. In 1907, a move to New York City had him searching for a producer for a new opera, Treemonisha, which, went beyond the limitations of his then famous music and was not well received when partially staged in 1915.
In 1916 he descended into dementia as a result of syphilis. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later on April 1st at the age of 49. Scott Joplin death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format, and in the next several years it evolved with other styles into stride, jazz and eventually big band swing. His music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970s with the release of a million-selling album recorded by Joshua Rifkin. Several of his compositions including The Entertainer were featured in the Academy Award winning 1973 movie The Sting, and his opera Treemonisha was finally produced in full to wide acclaim in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize. During his lifetime her composed 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet and two operas.
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Melton S. Mustafa was born on November 23, 1947 in Miami, Florida, the younger brother of Jesse Jones, Jr. He started playing the trumpet in junior high school and as a teenager played in a five-piece R&B/calypso band led by his brother. As a young adult in the Sixties, he studied at Berklee College of Music and Mississippi Valley State College before graduating from Florida A&M with a degree in music education.
During this period he started played behind Sam and Dave, Betty Wright, Lattimore, the Marvelettes and Joe Simon. His love for jazz never waning, his visibility on the Miami jazz scene increased when Melton joined hard bopper multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. By the 80s he was playing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by mercer Ellington, Jaco Pastorius, James Williams, Bobby Watson and John Hicks and Mingus Dynasty among others.
Mustafa joined the Count Basie Orchestra in 1984 and stayed for eight years. In 1992 he formed his own big band and a couple years later signed with Contemporary/Fantasy releasing his debut album Boiling Point. He followed up with his sophomore project St. Louis Blues in 1997. Never far from jazz standards and ballads his quintet recorded his latest CD titled The Softer Side, Scenes from Miami Vol. 1 featuring Duffy Jackson on drums, Dennis Marks on bass and Jim Gasior on piano.
He produces his Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival at the university that has welcomed Jon Faddis, Abraham Laboriel, Benny Golson, Dr. Nathan Davis, Dr. Grover Washington Jr., Dr. James Moody, Idris Muhammad, George Cables, Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Jimmy Owens, Billy Cobham, Herbie Mann, Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller, Nestor Torres, Winard Harper, Najee, Randy Brecker, and others.
As an educator he is the Director of Jazz Studies at Florida Memorial University, teaching Music Theory, Jazz Composition and other jazz related courses. The hard bop, post bop, soul and swing trumpeter, composer, arranger and producer and educator Melton Mustafa continues to perform, record and tour.
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Hoagy Carmichael was born Howard Hoagland Carmichael on November 22, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. He was named Hoagland after a circus troupe “The Hoaglands” who stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy. His mother was a versatile pianist who played accompaniment at silent movies and for parties and by age six, he started to sing and play the piano, easily absorbing his mother’s keyboard skills.
Never having formal piano lessons by high school, the piano was the focus of his after-school life, and for inspiration he would listen to ragtime pianists Hank Wells and Hube Hanna. By eighteen he was living in Indianapolis, working in manual jobs in construction, a bicycle chain factory, and a slaughterhouse to help out the family’s income. During this period he befriended the Black bandleader and jazz pianist Reg DuValle, the elder statesman of Indiana and Rhythm King, who taught his jazz improvisation.
Carmichael went on to attend Indiana University and Indiana University School of Law graduating with a bachelor degree and law degree, respectively. He played with Bix Beiderbecke who introduced him to future collaborator, Louis Armstrong.
He began to compose song like Washboard Blues, Boneyard Shuffle and Riverboat Shuffle. In 1927 Hoagy composed and recorded Stardust, one of his most famous songs. His first major song with his own lyrics was Rockin’ Chair recorded by Armstrong and Mildred Bailey. He recorded it himself in 1930 with Beiderbecke, Bubber Miley, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Bud Freeman, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti and Gene Krupa.
He would go on to team up with Johnny Mercer and Frank Loesser, composing Georgia On My Mind, Up A Lazy River, In The Still Of The Night, Skylark, I Get Along Without You Very Well, The Nearness Of You and Baltimore Oriole among some many other jazz standards.
With his financial and social condition improved dramatically he began hobnobbing with George Gershwin, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and other music giants in the New York scene. He appeared in fourteen films, always performing one of his songs, appeared in numerous television roles, hosted musical variety radio and television programs, received Academy Awards for Best Original Song, was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Indiana University, inducted into the Gennett Records Walk of Fame, recorded with Annie Ross and Georgie Fame, and penned two autobiographies.
Composer, pianist, singer, songwriter and actor, Hoagy Carmichael, passed away of heart failure in Rancho Mirage, California on December 27, 1981.
Mark Shim was born on November 21, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica but raised in Canada from the age of eight months to five years. Then his family moved to Richmond, Virginia. He started playing tenor saxophonist in the seventh grade through high school. Graduating in 1991 he attended Virginia Commonwealth University and William Patterson College.
1994 saw Shim moving to Brooklyn, New York where he played and recorded with Hamiet Bluiett in Harlem. He then played with Elvin Jones, Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Greg Osby and the Mingus Big Band.
He recorded his debut album Mind Over Matter for Blue Note Records in 1998, with his sophomore project New Directions with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran and Greg Osby and Turbulent Flow released in 2000. Tenor saxophonist Mark Shim continues to perform, record and tour.
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