Composers, musicians, and singers who have contributed to this Black genre.

Ellis Marsalis Jr. born

Ellis Marsalis Jr.

*Ellis Marsalis Jr. was born on this date in 1934. He is an African American jazz pianist and educator.

Musician & composer Joe Sample born

Joe Sample

*Joe Sample was born on this date in 1939. He was an African American musician and composer.

From Houston, Texas, Sample began playing the piano when he was five years old. He was a student of the organist and pianist Curtis Mayo. He teamed with high school friends, saxophonist-bassist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper, to form a band as teenagers in the mid-'50s. Trombonist Wayne Henderson, a classmate at Texas Southern University, later joined the group, which became known as The Jazz Crusaders when the group later moved to Los Angeles.

Little Milton, musican born

Little Milton

*Little Milton was born on this date in 1934. He was an African American musician and singer.

Louis Gottschailk, pianist born

Louis Gottschalk

*Louis Gottschalk was born on this date in 1829. He was an white american classical pianist and educator.

Amos Milburn born

Amos Milburn

*On this date in 1927 Amos Milburn was born. He was an African American blues musician and singer.

Born in Houston, Texas on April Fools Day, he was one of twelve children, six boys and six girls. His father was a builder's laborer. It is believed that young Milburn could play Jingle Bells on at the age of five. His early influences included Rhythm & Blues legend Louis Jordan along with boogie-woogie musicians Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis & Albert Ammons.

Strange Fruit composer born

Abel Meeropol

*Abel Meeropol was born on this date in 1903. He was a White Jewish American writer, teacher and songwriter.

Evelyn Dove born

Evelyn Dove

*The birth of Evelyn Dove in 1902 is celebrated on this date. She was a Black British cabaret and jazz singer.

Oscar Pettiford, jazz bassist born

Oscar Pettiford

*Oscar Pettiford was born on this date in1922. He was an African American musician.

Julius Williams, music conductor born

Julius Williams

*Julius Williams was born on this date in 1954. He is an African American composer, conductor, college professor, and pianist.

He is the son of Julius and Julia Williams and has one brother (Michael). From The Bronx, New York, Julius Penson Williams, was educated in the New York public school system and graduated in 1972 from Andrew Jackson High School, a performing arts school in Queens, New York. Williams attended Herbert Lehman College and the Hartt School, where he received his B.S. and M.M.E. respectively.

Freda Payne born

Freda Payne

*Freda Payne was born on this date in 1942. She is an African American singer and actress.