Legendary jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb, was born in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1929. A superb, mostly self-taught musician, Jimmy is the elder statesman of all the incredible Miles Davis bands. Jimmy’s inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and Co. spanned 1957 until 1963, and included the masterpiece "Kind of Blue", the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on "Sketches of Spain", Someday My Prince will Come", "Live at Carnegie Hall, "Live at
the Blackhawk", "Porgy and Bess", and many, many other watermark Miles Davis recordings.
Grant Green, Jr. is a jazz guitarist and son of the late jazz guitar legend Grant Green. He is a member of the group Masters of Groove, along with drummer Bernard Purdie and B3 organ player Reuben Wilson.
Born in St Louis, Missouri on August 4th 1955, Grant Green Jr. started playing guitar at the age of fourteen. He moved to New York in 1965. It was there that he met numerous Jazz musicians who stopped by the family home.
In 1969, Green Jr. moved to Detroit with his father Grant Green. His next door neighbors were Stevie Wonder's parents. Marvin Gaye lived a few blocks away, so did members of the Four tops and other Motown artists. At that time the influence of Motown was widely felt.
His father and Stevie were great Influences on him. His first real gig was with Richard Groove Holmes. Grant Green Jr. went on to play with other greats such as Leon Thomas, Reuben Wilson, Jimmy Mcgriff, Lou Donaldson, and Dr Lonnie Smith among others.
One of the funkiest horn players in jazz music history is indeed Pee Wee Ellis, a well known American musician who was an essential part of James Brown band in 1960s. He is a saxophonist, arranger and composer. He was born on April 21, 1941 in Florida, U.S.A., but spent his childhood in Texas, from where he got his nick name, which is his identity now. Music particularly jazz was his passion and he was active in making and learning music since his childhood. During his teenage years, he moved to New York and took music lesson from renowned New York schools and academies.
Pee Wee gave his first performance at the age of 13 years in Dunbar Junior High School. He started his professional career from Florida in 1960 after acquiring his education in music from New York and worked as music director, writer and band leader. In 1965, he started working with James Brown and became a part of some hit projects like “Cold Sweat” and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Mother Popcorn”, “Lickin’ Stick,” and “The Chicken” in a short period of 4 years. After which he again moved to New York and worked with CTI Records’ Kudu label, and worked with artists like George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips, Miles Davis sideman David Liebman. He later worked with Van Morrison’s band as arranger and music director and of course fully deserves the credit of major hits of that time. His song with James Brown, is the source of inspiration for all black people, and truly expresses their mind and heart. His song reflects his self-respect and truly reflects the political and social awakening that was started among black people during that time that force them to fight for their basic rights.
"Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud", was a huge hit and still holds the status of national anthem for many traditional black people.
Pee Wee is widely known as Inventor of Funk jazz, when during an interview he was asked this question, he humbly answered himself as an artist who was working with passion and love that he has for music and for jazz in particular. In 1995, the diversity, excellence and purity of his music quality and his talent became evident to the world, when he played tenor sax and arranged the horns for the music album Worotan, by Mali’s Oumou Sangare, which is more famous with the title “Songbird of Wassoulou”.
In 2009, he pay tribute to James Brown by organizing a tour called “Still Black, Still Proud” to Africa with Mahotella Queens and Ghanaian born rapper Ty, on July 12, 2009, at the Frome Festival and in April and May of 2010 in Europe.
He is one of some evergreen stars that are still active in showbiz and a huge fan following that consist of people from all ages, races, religion and economic backgrounds who go crazy after seeing a glimpse of their hero.
Hammond B3 virtuoso Ike Stubblefield is a music industry legend. With almost 50 years in the business, you may think he’s seen and done it all, but he’s just getting started.
He cut his teeth backing Motown legends like the Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and Rare Earth. He lent his soulful R&B style to Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters and George Benson, and helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come. In 2010, he collaborated with Grammy-winning Atlanta soul man Cee Lo Green, recording organ and keyboards on 9 tracks.
These days, the B3 icon and mini-Moog master stays busy jamming with Papa Mali in New Orleans, rocking with Big Hat in Nashville and producing out of his Atlanta studio. Drawing from his recent time with the Derek Trucks Band and years on the road as a musician-for-hire, Stubblefield is finding his true passion collaborating with old friends and bringing the loose ends of an illustrious career together on his new project, The Ike Stubblefield Trio.
“I’m combining all elements of my 46 years of playing,” said Stubblefield. “My style’s kind of all over the place so it’s not a jam band, or jazz or funk necessarily, but it has all those elements.”