top of page
  • Writer's pictureJAM

Jay McShann Birthday Celebration!

Updated: Jan 23



© Yoko Takemura

Friends, family, and artists convene to remember the life and music of legendary pianist and bandleader, Jay “Hootie” McShann. Join us as we celebrate his  birthday on Friday January 12, 2024 in the Atrium of the American Jazz Museum. The event runs from 5:30pm until 8:30pm and will include live music, stories and more.

McShann was born in Muskogee Oklahoma, and was later nicknamed Hootie, as in “drunker than a hoot owl”. During his youth, Jay taught himself how to play the piano through observing his sister's piano lessons and trying to practice tunes he heard on the radio. He was also heavily influenced by late-night broadcasts of pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines from Chicago’s Grand Terrace. "When 'Fatha' (Hines) went off the air, I went to bed," said McShann. He began working as a professional musician in 1931 at the age of 15, performing around Tulsa, Oklahoma and towns across the NW corner of the neighboring state of Arkansas.

McShann told the Associated Press in 2003:

"You'd hear some cat play, and somebody would say, 'This cat, he sounds like he's from Kansas City.' It was Kansas City Style. They knew it on the East Coast. They knew it on the West Coast. They knew it up North, and they knew it down South."

Jay McShann and his trio recorded a live album in Tokyo in 1990. Yoko Takemura, artist, and jazz writer for the web-jazz magazine, Jazz Tokyo http://jazztokyo.org co-produced the album for its 2019 release. She and her late husband had attended the concert, “Jay McShann Live in Tokyo, 1990,” more than 30 years ago. Yoko Takemura has been a long-time advocate of Kansas City jazz and has traveled to Kansas City many times.



© Yoko Takemura

When Fumimaro Kawashima translated of Chuck Haddix’ book, Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, Yoko helped to promote the book’s Japanese  release. Not one to sit idle, Yoko has since taken up pencil drawing. She has created striking likenesses of Jay McShann, Ahmad Alladeen and many other prominent jazz artists. JAM’s printed February-March issue will focus on a story written for Jazz Tokyo, by Yoko Takemura.

Help celebrate Jay “Hootie” McShann’s birthday on Friday January 12, 2024, in the Atrium of the American Jazz Museum. The event runs from 5:30pm until 8:30pm and will include live music, stories and more.

Editor

165 views0 comments

Comentarios


bottom of page