Duke Robillard (1948) - After playing in various bands and working for the Guild Guitar Company, Michael John "Duke" Robillard  co-founded the band Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley in 1967. He has also been a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds which included Kim Wilson, replacing Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. Also experienced in jazz, swing, and rock and roll, aside from his preferred blues music, Robillard has been generally regarded as a guitar player keeping the blues style of T-Bone Walker.  He has recorded with artists such as Snooky Pryor, Jay McShann, Hal Singer, Pinetop Perkins, Joe Louis Walker, Todd Sharpville, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. In the summer of 2006, Robillard accompanied Tom Waits on a tour of the Southern United States.  Robillard has contributed to a large number of musicians' recordings in his career. Some of the most famous have been mentioned, but others include artists as diverse as Wham! and Jimmy Witherspoon. He was hired by Tom Waits, who was looking for a blues guitarist and a master of American roots music for his Orphans Tour. Although Robillard did not record with Waits, the 2006 dates were widely bootlegged. Robillard's latest album Tales from the Tiki Lounge, was a tribute to Les Paul, and he played an array of Gold Tops and other Les Paul models, plus an Epiphone Broadway. He has been nominated for and has received numerous awards over his career, including awards for the Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts (2007) and "Best Blues Guitarist" W.C. Handy Award (2000 and 2001).


Stan Hasselgård (1922) - Swedish jazz clarinetist, Åke "Stan" Hasselgård was heavily influenced by Benny Goodman, and he played swing jazz in his early years before exploring bebop shortly before his death.  His father died in a hunting accident in Gällivare when Hasselgård was only a year old. He grew up in Bollnäs, Sweden, and began playing clarinet at age 16. He attended college at the University of Uppsala and played in the Royal Swingers there. In 1945, he played in a quintet led by Arthur Österwall, and founded a new Royal Swingers group that year. In 1946-47 he played with Simon Brehm's sextet alongside Gösta Eriksson (piano), Bror Hansson (trumpet), Kurt Wärngren (guitar) and Bertil Frylmark (drums).  Having achieved international renown, he moved in 1947 to New York City, and played there on 52nd Street with Jack Teagarden and Max Roach. Under the stage name Stan Hasselgard, he made his acclaimed recording of Swedish Pastry, and in 1948 he joined Benny Goodman's septet, alongside Wardell Gray, Mary Lou Williams and others. His last recording session occurred on November 18, 1948.  On November 23, Stan Hasselgård, only 26 years old, was killed in a car crash outside the city of Decatur, Illinois.


Elmo Hope – Hope Meets Foster (1955)
Track Listing:
1. Wail, Frank, Wail
2. Zarou
3. Fosterity
4. Georgia On My Mind
5. Shutout
6. Yaho

Review by Scott Yanow at Allmusic:
This decent bop session features tenor-saxophonist Frank Foster and pianist Elmo Hope in a quintet with the forgotten trumpeter Freeman Lee (who is on three of the six songs), bassist John Ore and drummer Art Taylor. They perform three of Hope's originals, two by Foster and an uptempo version of "Georgia on My Mind." None of the originals caught on (when was the last time anyone played "Fosterity"?) and nothing that innovative occurs but the music should please bop fans.

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    is a historical timeline for birthdays of blues and jazz artists and jazz album recording dates.  As our research progresses, we'll add more categories.  Look for updates each week, normally Mondays through Fridays, when we find something to share.


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