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Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Django Reinhardt, Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Wes Montgomery, Lennie Tristano.

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In the 1920s, while Louis Armstrong was carrying jazz from New Orleans to Chicago, and Duke Ellington moved his Washingtonians from the nation's capital to New York, Pittsburgh was developing its own rising jazz stars.

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Jimi Hendrix stole moves and licks from him. Chuck Berry named him as one of two main influences. His song “Stormy Monday” has been covered by everybody who is anybody in blues, jazz, and swing, and is what inspired B.B. King to pick up the electric guitar.

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So many people out there, young or even a bit older, are curious about jazz, and they’re not exactly sure where to start. Think of this as a jazz bucket list, filled with masterpieces of a true American music. Let’s go! 

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Chicago was the right place at the right time with the right people for the blues to remake itself. Starting in the 1920s, the Midwestern capitol had opened up to the music born in the rural south, attracting the men and women who created and performed it and rewarding those who made a business of it. 

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