Year Developments in Jazz Historical Events
  • Trumpeter Miles Davis records Sketches of Spain, which uses Flamenco music, and then tours Europe.
  • The Modern Jazz Quartet records an album with orchestral accompaniment.
  • Crowd disturbances disrupt the 7th Newport Jazz Festival.
  • Saxophonist John Coltrane and trumpeter Don Cherry collaborate on the album Avant-Garde, influenced by saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
  • John Coltrane records My Favorite Things, as well as Giant Steps.
  • Drummer Max Roach records We Insist!: Freedom Now Suite. The album has an explicit civil rights message.
  • Pianist Cecil Taylor and saxophonist Archie Shepp record The World of Cecil Taylor.
  • Bassist Charles Mingus and saxophonist/clarinetist Eric Dolphy record What Love and Fables of Faubus, the latter written about the Arkansas governor who opposed desegregation.
  • Drummer Shelly Manne opens the club "Shelly's Manne-Hole" in Los Angeles.
  • Ornette Coleman records Free Jazz.
  • Writer Albert Camus is killed in a car crash.
  • John F. Kennedy is elected president of the U.S.
  • The first laser beam is demonstrated.
  • African-American students stage sit-ins in North Carolina.
  • Drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers tour Japan.
  • Miles Davis records live at San Francisco's Black Hawk.
  • Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans appear at Carnegie Hall.
  • Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie appears at Carnegie Hall.
  • Pianist Thelonious Monk tours Europe.
  • Ornette Coleman's avant-garde quartet disbands.
  • Down Beat magazine prints several articles attacking Ornette Coleman's music and the current (free jazz) music of John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy.
  • The Newport Jazz Festival relocates to New York after rioting in its original location.
  • Saxophonist Oliver Nelson records Blues and the Abstract Truth.
  • Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space.
  • Writer Ernest Hemingway dies.
  • The Berlin Wall is completed.
  • The birth-control pill is introduced.
  • Writer Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 is published.
  • Cuban exiles attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • John F. Kennedy is inaugerated, becoming the first Catholic President.
  • Saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd record Desafinado, which sparks renewed interest in bossa nova.
  • Pianist Herbie Hancock records his first album as a leader, Takin' Off.
  • Trumpeter Cootie Williams rejoins Duke Ellington's band.Ā Ellington records an album with Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach, and an album with John Coltrane.
  • Carnegie Hall hosts a bossa nova concert.
  • Guitarist Joe Pass makes his first album.
  • Cecil Taylor records live in Copenhagen.
  • Actress Marilyn Monroe dies.
  • Writer William Faulkner dies.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs.
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens in New York City.
  • The Beatles become a sensation with their first single Love Me Do.
  • Charles Mingus records The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, a landmark in extended structure and free improvisation.
  • Bill Evans records Conversations with Myself, which uses overdubbing.
  • Miles Davis performs and records with his new group with Herbie Hancock, saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Ron Carter, and 17-year-old drummer Tony Williams.
  • Count Basie tours Japan.
  • Trumpeter Lee Morgan records the best-selling The Sidewinder.
  • Astrud Gilberto's Girl from Ipanema becomes a huge hit featuring Stan Getz.
  • Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a rally in Washington, D.C.
  • Twelve-year-old singer Stevie Wonder releases his first album.
  • U.S. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president of U.S.
  • Four black girls are killed in an Alabama church bombing.
  • The Miles Davis Quintet records the classic live album My Funny Valentine, and soon after saxophonist Wayne Shorter replaces George Coleman.
  • Clarinetist and flutist Eric Dolphy records Out To Lunch with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and Tony Williams.
  • Pianist Horace Silver records Song for My Father.
  • John Coltrane records A Love Supreme, which sells hundreds of thousands of copies.
  • Blind multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk performs at the Newport in Europe festival.
  • Avant-garde tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler records the album Ghosts.
  • South African political activist Nelson Mandela begins his life sentence.
  • Composer Cole Porter dies.
  • Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick releases Dr. Strangelove.
  • The Beatles appear in A Hard Day's Night and tour the U.S. for the first time.
  • The U.S. Civil Rights Bill is passed.
  • France and Britain agree to construct a Channel Tunnel connecting the two countries.
  • The soldier doll G.I. Joe is introduced.
  • Miles Davis records ESP with his new quintet.
  • Pianist Nat King Cole dies of cancer.
  • Herbie Hancock records Maiden Voyage, a classic modal tune, with the other members of Miles Davis' group plus trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.
  • Trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis form a rehearsal orchestra that is to last for years.
  • John Coltrane records Ascension, a free jazz experiment influenced by Ornette Coleman.
  • Writer T.S. Eliot dies.
  • The U.S. intensifies its involvement in Vietnam.
  • The first spacewalk occurs.
  • Thirty-four people are killed in Los Angeles race riots.
  • The film The Sound of Music receives an Oscar for Best Picture.
  • Political activist Malcolm X is assassinated.
  • Duke Ellington receives the President's Gold Medal of Honor.
  • Thad Jones and Mel Lewis debut with their big band at the Village Vanguard in New York.
  • Cecil Taylor records Unit Structures, which is an experimental album that resembles contemporary classical music.
  • The Miles Davis Quintet records Miles Smiles, a historic work that explores structural freedom.
  • Race riots break out in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago.
  • Cultural Revolution occurs in China.
  • Star Trek appears on TV.
  • Barbara Jordan becomes the first African American woman to win a seat in the Texas Senate.
  • Rise of the "Black Power" movement; Huey Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panthers Party.
  • John Coltrane makes his last recordings and dies soon after of liver disease.
  • The Miles Davis Quintet records Sorcerer and Nefertiti, featuring mostly compositions by Wayne Shorter.
  • The Dave Brubeck Quarter disbands.
  • Bandleader Paul Whiteman dies.
  • The first Montreux Jazz Festival is held in Switzerland.
  • Down Beat announces it will cover rock music as well as jazz.
  • Trumpeter Lester Bowie forms the Art Ensemble of Chicago, an important avant-garde jazz group.
  • Herbie Hancock introduces electric piano to popular jazz in Miles Davis' group.
  • The first heart-transplant operation is performed.
  • The Six-Day War occurs in the Middle East.
  • The Apollo space crew is killed in a launchpad fire.
  • Singer Aretha Franklin has four top-10 hits.
  • President Lyndon Johnson orders a commission to report on rising racial violence.
  • Vibraphonist Gary Burton appears at Carnegie Hall.
  • Herbie Hancock records the album Speak Like a Child with trumpeter Thad Jones and bassist Ron Carter.
  • Herbie Hancock quits the Miles Davis Quartet.
  • Guitarist Wes Montgomery, whose album A Day in the Life is the best selling jazz album of the year, dies.
  • Pianist Chick Corea and bassist Dave Holland join Miles Davis' band.
  • Avant-garde saxophonist Anthony Braxton, a member of the Chicago Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, records For Alto Saxophone and Three Compositions of New Jazz.
  • Composer Carla Bley's Jazz Composers Orchestra Association forms the New Music Distribution Service to disseminate its recordings.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.
  • Students protest in Paris.
  • The U.S.S.R. invades Czechoslovakia.
  • Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy is assassinated.
  • Massive antiwar protests are staged in the U.S.
  • Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix soars up the charts with two albums.
  • Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is released.
  • Composer Gunther Schuller completes his book Early Jazz, the first critical study of the origins of the music.
  • Bassist Paul Chambers dies from tuberculosis.
  • Miles Davis records In a Silent Way. Later in the year, Davis records Bitches Brew, the first important fusion album.
  • Tony Williams forms the group Lifetime with guitarist John McLaughlin and organist Larry Young.
  • The Art Ensemble of Chicago records in Paris.
  • Coleman Hawkins dies of pneumonia.
  • Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to land on the moon.
  • Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seizes power in Libya.
  • Golda Meir becomes Premier of Israel.
  • The Woodstock pop music festival is held in New York.
  • Writer Mario Puzo's The Godfather is published.
  • The lottery system is established for the U.S. draft.
  • Richard M. Nixon becomes president.
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