Peter Nero - Born Bernard Nierow in Brooklyn, he was a child prodigy on the piano. But he quickly turned his attention to jazz and played with Paul Whitemans Orchestra. Popular performer of jazz, classic popular, and swing era music. He also has been an orchestra leader. Has recorded extensively.
Red Rodney - Born Robert Chudnick. Great trumpet and flugelhorn player. He got his first trumpet as a bar mitzvah gift from his great aunt. Played with Dorsey, Goodman, Krupa orchestras. He then joined Charlie Parkers legendary quintet and was associated most with be-bop for the rest of his career. Parker dubbed him "Albino Red"--claiming he was a black albino so they could tour in the South without hassles (mixed race bands were "frowned" on).
Ronnie Scott - (1927-1996) Scott (family name: Schatt)would probably have preferred being remembered as a tenor saxophonist, an instrument on which he recorded extensively, but hes better for giving his name to Ronnie Scotts, which has been Londons best-known jazz club for over 40 years.
Considered one of the greatest vibraphonists after Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson.
Known as Willie the Lion" Smith. (1897-1973) Born William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff. Along with James P. Johnson and Fats Waller one of the leading Harlem stride pianists and an influence on Duke Ellington (who praised him lavishly in his autobiography) and Art Tatum. Born Presbyterian but had his bar mitzvah at 13 in a Harlem synagogue. After his mothers death he became more religious and eventually became the cantor of a black synagogue at 122nd St and Lenox Ave in Harlem. Nevertheless he retained his taste for hog maws and chitterlings. (Note: We realize this entry is problematic because opinions differ on the "Jewishness" of certain mostly black Jewish congregations.)
Longtime Benny Goodman sideman who played trombone and trumpet. Co-author of the hit song "And The Angels Sing", which Ellman said was inspired by Jewish music.
Abrams is a Jewish American musician from Idyllwild, California who finished in sixth place on the tenth season of American Idol. He was eliminated from the competition on April 28, 2011, five weeks after being saved from elimination by the judges.
(1926-1988) Tenor sax player and composer, he was also a leading Broadway arranger
Singer with the "vocalese" revival group "Manhattan Transfer". The all vocal group has covered a wide variety of material--but they are perhaps best known for their covers of material from the 30s and 40s. In the 70s they had an American hit with their cover of "The Boy From New York City". Paul was also in the original production of "Grease" on Broadway.
singer-songwriter, record producer, theatre actress, and television host
Born Artie Arshawsky. Famous big-band leader and great clarinet player who suddenly retired in the 1940s and has not performed since.
Israeli modern jazz bassist and composer.
Leader and banjo player for the popular band, "Bela and the Flecktones", which combines jazz and bluegrass.
The King of Swing. Chicago-born clarinet player who was adept at Jazz and classical music. Goodman broke the color barrier by having the first integrated swing band.