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Harlem Renaissance Musicians

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Harlem Renaissance Musicians: the most notable and famous Harlem Renaissance Musicians.

Definition and Summary of the Harlem Renaissance Musicians


Summary and definition:
The famous Harlem Renaissance Musicians used a combination of African rhythms and music with  Dixieland music, the blues and the improvisational and exuberant style of music called Jazz. Jazz developed in the speakeasy cellars in the cities of New York.

List of Harlem Renaissance Musicians, Songs and Music
The list and short descriptions of the most notable and famous Harlem Renaissance musicians featured in the list include details of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, "Jelly Roll" Morton, King Oliver, Charlie Parker, Ma Rainey, Fletcher Henderson, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Cab Calloway, James P. Johnson, Art Tatum and Fats Waller.

Louis Armstrong: Louis Armstrong (1901 - 1971) is credited with putting Jazz on the musical map. Louis " Satchmo" Armstrong was one of the most famous Harlem Renaissance Musicians, a trumpet player, singer and bandleader.

Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974) was a prolific composer, arranger and musician of the Jazz Age. He played the piano and brought together the most talented musicians of the era to play in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington also performed at the Cotton Club. In 1932 he recorded "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)".

Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz trumpeter, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917 - 1993) and is considered one of the most influential figures of jazz and bebop. His famous songs were 'On the Sunny Side of the Street' and 'Salt Peanuts'.

Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk (1917 - 1963) was a famous jazz singer, pianist and composer. His  improvisational  jazz standards, included "Well, You Needn't," "Blue Monk" and "Round Midnight."

Count Basie: Count Basie (1904 - 1984) great Harlem pianists and studied organ informally with Fats Waller. The Count Basie Orchestra were highly popular. Famous songs by Count Basie include Fly Me to the Moon and Dream a Little Dream of Me

"Jelly Roll" Morton: Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (1890 - 1941) adopted the professional name of "Jelly Roll" Morton and gained fame as a jazz musician playing the piano and as a bandleader. His songs included "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp" and "King Porter Stomp"

King Oliver: King Oliver (1881 - 1938)  was a famous jazz cornet player and bandleader who was the mentor of Louis Armstrong. King Oliver was a highly improvisational artist who famously used hats, bottles and cups to alter the sound of his cornet. His famous songs included Chimes Blues, Just Gone and Dipper Mouth Blues

Charlie Parker: Charlie "Bird" Parker (1920 - 1955) was a leading jazz saxophonist and composer. He performed with Dizzy Gillespie and together they invented bebop. His famous songs included "Now's the Time" and "Parker's Mood".

Fletcher Henderson: Fletcher Henderson (1897 - 1952) was a great Jazz musician, playing the piano as a composer and arranger and as a pioneering band leader. His famous songs included Wrappin' It Up, Wild Party, My Pretty Girl and Sugar Foot Stomp.

Earl "Fatha" Hines: Earl "Fatha" Hines (1903 - 1983) was a charismatic and notable American jazz bandleader and pianist who was well known for his innovative style. His famous songs included Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues, Weather Bird and Cavernism.

Cab Calloway: Cab Calloway (1907 - 1994) was an elegant and charismatic jazz singer and bandleader. Cab's singing and showmanship captured the imagination and he was hired to perform at the Cotton Club Cab Calloway was immortalized with his most famous song 'Minnie the Moocher'.

James P. Johnson: James P. Johnson (1894 - 1955) was a famous pianist who participated in 'Cutting Contests' during which competing musicians tried to surpass, or 'cut, each other to create the best improvisations. The early Jazz style was called 'Stride Piano. James P. Johnson was named "the father of stride piano".

Art Tatum: Art Tatum (1909 - 1956) is considered to be one of the greatest jazz stride pianists of all time. His famous songs included Tea for Two, Tiger Rag and Yesterdays.

Fats Waller: Fats Waller (1904 - 1943) was a great musician and famous as a jazz pianist, organist, composer and singer who achieved nationwide fame as a radio performer.

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