Kendrick Scott was born July 8, 1980 in Houston. His initial encounter with the drums was in church, where his family was involved in the music ministry. Attending Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, garnering several awards, most notably the IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship.
Upon graduation from high school in 1998, Kendrick matriculated through Berklee College of Music under scholarship. Since graduating in 2002,Scott has performed with the Jazz Crusaders, Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Terence Blanchard among others. He also was a member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet from 1999 to 2007.
Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato and others. He also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the twice Grammy nominated album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) in 2007, celebrated the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary and embarked on a 22-state tour with the 50th Anniversary MJF All-Star Band features the leaders of the past, present and future with Blanchard, James Moody, Benny Green, Derrick Hodge and Nnenna Freelon. In 2010 he released his sophomore leader project “Reverence” and in 2013 “Conviction”. He continues to perform, record and tour.
Louie Bellson was born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni on July 6, 1924 in Rock Falls, Illinois. He started playing drums at three years of age and at 15 pioneered the double-bass drum set-up. By 17 he triumphed over 40,000 drummers to win the Slingerland National Gene Krupa contest and graduated from high school in 1939.
1943 saw Bellson performing with Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee in the film “The Powers Girl” followed two more by the decade’s end. Between 1943 and 1952, he performed with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Duke Ellington, for whom he composed “Skin Deep” and “The Hawk Talks”. In 1952 he married Pearl Bailey, leaving Ellington to be her musical director, a union that lasted 38 years until her death in 1990.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, Louie performed with Jazz At The Philharmonic or J.A.T.P., Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, again with Duke Ellington and Harry James, as well as appearing on several Ella Fitzgerald studio albums.
Equally adept as a big band or small group drummer, Bellson recorded extensively and led his own big and small bands, occasionally maintaining separate bands on each coast. His sidemen have included Blue Mitchell, Don Menza, Larry Novak, John Heard, Clark Terry, Pete and Conte Candoli and Snooky Young.
Louie Bellson, composer, arranger, bandleader and jazz educator passed away from Parkinson’ s disease on February 14, 2009.
Butch Miles was born Charles J. Thorton, Jr. on July 4, 1944 in Ironton, Ohio. He began playing snare drum at the age of 9 and went on to major in music at West Virginia State University from 1962–1966. After his matriculation he toured with the Iris Bell Trio.
Miles joined the Count Basie Orchestra in 1975 and the association lasted for four years and then returned for ten years from 1997–2007. He led his own group, Jazz Express, in the 1980s and ’90s.
Besides performing with the Count Basie Orchestra, Butch has played with Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra among others as well as hitting the stage of the Newport and Montreux Jazz Festivals.
HE cites Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Jo Jones as favorite drummers and is currently a professor in the School of Music at Texas State University-San Marcos.
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Raymond Mantilla was born on June 22, 1934 in New York City and his early drumming inspiration came from Afro-Cuban jazz. He played with a number of Latin jazz ensembles from the 1950s including the La Playa Sextet, Xavier Cugat, Lou Perez, Rene Touzet, Miguelito Valdez and Monguito Conjunto.
He played behind Eartha Kitt in 1955 and by 1960 was touring with Herbie Mann and recording with Max Roach. He recorded with Al Cohn, Freddie Hubbard, Buddy Rich and Larry Coryell in the early Sixties and then led his own band in Puerto Rico from ’63 to ’69. This was followed with Ray becoming a founding member of Max Roach’s M’Boom percussion ensemble in 1970.
Mantilla was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the 70s and toured the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He then recorded with Gato Barbieri, Joe Farrell, Richie Cole, Don Pullen, Charles Mingus, Walter Bishop, Jr., and Morgana King and toured Cuba with Dizzy Gillespie.
By the end of the decade he once again founded his own ensemble, the Ray Mantilla Space Station, and through the 1980s toured or recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, Kenny Burrell, Shirley Scott and Warren Chiasson. In 1991 the noted session player and bandleader put together a new ensemble, the Jazz Tribe and has been recording, performing and touring ever since.
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Shelly Manne was born Sheldon Manne in New York City on June 11, 1920. His father and uncles were drummers, he got tips from drummer Billy Gladstone as a teenager and soon he rapidly developed his style in the 52nd Street clubs in the late 30s and 40s. He got his first professional job with the Bobby Byrne Orchestra and was soon recording with Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Shavers, Don Byas, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney and Rex Stewart.
Manne rose to stardom when he became part of the bands of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton in the late 1940s and early 1950s, winning awards and developing a following at a time when jazz was the most popular music in the United States. When the bebop movement began to change jazz in the 1940s, Manne loved it and adapted to the style rapidly, performing with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips, Charlie Ventura, Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz.
In the early 1950s, Manne left New York, settled permanently on a ranch outside Los Angeles, where he and his wife raised horses. This began his important role in the West Coast school of jazz, performing on the Los Angeles jazz scene with Shorty Rogers, Hampton Hawes, Red Mitchell, Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Frank Rossolino, Chet Baker, Leroy Vinnegar and many others.
Shelly led a number of small groups that recorded under his name and leadership, recording his now famous live Black Hawk sessions and for Contemporary Records. He played in styles of Dixieland, swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and fusion, as well as contributing to the musical background of hundreds of Hollywood films and television programs, collaborating with Henry Mancini on such films as Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Hatari and The Pink Panther and tv shows like Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky.
Shelly Manne passed away of a heart attack on September 26, 1984 shortly before the popular revival of interest in jazz had gained momentum.
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