The bluesy, commanding improviser rose to eminence in the ’50s and ’60s with bands like Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he played a starring role and established himself as a deft small-group composer. Walton continued to perform and record his entire life.
The drummer is 84 — he’s been around the jazz scene for a while. But he’s been more than around: He was the drummer on Miles Davis’ late-’50s and early-’60s masterpieces. These days, he’s still touring the world, leading bands like this international quartet. Watch a live performance.
The jazz trumpeter who made his first recordings 50 years ago this summer might be his instrument’s least appreciated giant. Perhaps the trumpeter of the 1970s, Shaw was an icon for the generation that followed, as well as an innovator on his horn.
Few musicians today are as versatile as the bassist, keyboardist, bass clarinetist, film composer, producer … you get the picture. A veteran of Miles Davis’ last band, and the ethos of that pan-stylistic music tends to carry over into his own. It headlines day one on the main stage.
Should you ever meet Donny McCaslin, you’ll encounter an imposingly tall fellow who’s one of the nicest guys you’ll shake hands with — and who wields a sax like few others. They played a side stage in the morning. The audience didn’t know what hit ‘em.
From church services to arguments at the table, the jazz musician finds himself drawn to the music of the everyday. His debut album, Live Today, is anchored in jazz grooves and layered with influences from hip-hop to gospel.