Jazz Master of the Month

Each month, WEAA honors one legend of jazz. Learn more about the artist and his or her work.

It is more than fitting that we honor and celebrate “the First Lady of Song” Ella Jane Fitzgerald in April, the month of her birth and also the month designated as “Jazz Appreciation Month” in 2001 by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History.

John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery was first signed to Riverside records in 1959, and by 1968 he was dead. After less than ten years of recording and performing, Montgomery became one of the most innovative, admired, emulated guitarist in the history of the instrument. 

With more than sixty years in the music business, over seventy albums, and three Grammys, 79-year-old singer self-described “song stylist” Nancy Wilson still holds an audience in the palm of her hand when she sings. 

“I’ve done as much as I could on drums…I’m moving on now.” That’s the way Grady Tate describes his music pursuits these days. 

Shirley Horn, vocalist and accomplished jazz and classical pianist, was nominated for nine Grammy awards during her performing career. 

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