I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina and would like to pay tribute to the amazing jazz musicians from this and surrounding regions. It may not be an epicentre of jazz like New Orleans, Manhattan, or Los Angeles, indeed none of a recent top 10 southern jazz players were from North Carolina. Nevertheless some notable players are from here.
Jazz musicians with connections to the Research Triangle:
- Jeb Bishop is a jazz trombonist who grew up in Raleigh and studied at NC State.
- Pee Wee Moore left medical school to pursue jazz saxophony full time. He was born in Raleigh and returned to the city in the 1970s after living in New York.
- Billy Strayhorn was a composer, lyricist, and arranger. He spent his summers at his grandparents home in Hillsborough, just northwest of Durham.
Jazz musicians with connections to the Piedmont triad (Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem):
- Tal Farlow took up guitar aged 21 and was playing professionally within a year. In 1962 Gibson named a guitar model after him.
Other notable NC jazz musicians:
- Nina Simone was born in Tryon on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Widely acclaimed singer, pianist, and songwriter she was also active in the civil rights movement.
- Percy Heath
- Theolonius Monk