Year Developments in Jazz Historical Events
  • Saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., records his Grammy Award winning album, Winelight, that includes the hit song Just the Two of Us.
  • Trumpeter Miles Davis comes out of retirement and records the funk and rock-influenced The Man with the Horn.
  • Eighteen-year-old trumpeter Wynton Marsalis records at Montreux with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.
  • Pianist Bill Evans dies in New York.
  • Former Beatle John Lennon is murdered in New York City.
  • 10,000 Cuban refugees come to the U.S.
  • Mt. St. Helen's volcano erupts.
  • The Iranian hostage crisis begins.
  • Pianist Mary Lou Williams dies.
  • Miles Davis makes his first live performance since retirement at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.
  • Saxophonist David Sanborn records the album Voyeur, featuring the Grammy-winning song All I Need is You, composed by bassist Marcus Miller.
  • Saxophonist Branford and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis joins Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.
  • The U.S. completes its first successful space shuttle mission.
  • Race riots occur in Brixton, London.
  • Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.
  • President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is assassinated.
  • Poland declares martial law to quash trade union "solidarity."
  • Former actor Ronald Reagan becomes president.
  • Assassination attempts are made on President Reagan and Pope John Paul II.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
  • The Iranian hostage crises ends.
  • The AIDS epidemic begins.
  • Pianist Thelonious Monk dies.
  • Saxophonist Sonny Stitt dies.
  • Bassist Jaco Pastorius leaves Weather Report.
  • Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and vocalist Bobby McFerrin are featured at the Kool Jazz Festival.
  • Argentina invades the Falkland Islands. British forces reclaim the Falklands forcing the surrender of Argentine troops.
  • Filmmaker Richard Attenborough receives eight Academy Awards for the film Ghandi.
  • Filmmaker Steven Spielberg receives three Academy Awards for E.T.
  • The Message is one of the earliest rap hits.
  • Pianist Keith Jarrett make his first recordings of standards with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock.
  • Pianist Eubie Blake dies.
  • Pianist Earl Hines dies.
  • Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis makes history by winning a jazz and classical Grammy Award in the same year.
  • Keyboardist Herbie Hancock's synthesized dance hit, Rockit, reaches number one in the pop charts.
  • Pianist Scott Joplin appears on a U.S. postage stamp.
  • Writer Tennessee Williams dies.
  • The U.S. invades Granada.
  • The first compact discs are marketed.
  • The Cabbage Patch dolls become a commercial success.
  • The School Prayer Amendment is rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Harold Washington becomes the first Black mayor of Chicago.
  • Vanessa Williams becomes the first Black Miss America.
  • Bandleader and keyboardist Sun Ra performs in Athens and is voted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame.
  • Pianist Count Basie dies in Hollywood.
  • Drummer Shelly Manne dies.
  • Miles Davis records You're Under Arrest before leaving Columbia Records and signing a seven figure deal with Warner Bros.
  • The first black franchise is granted in South Africa.
  • Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi is assassinated.
  • Ronald Reagan is elected to his second term as President.
  • Apple Computers launches the first Macintosh.
  • Drummer Kenny Clarke dies.
  • Miles Davis records Aura in Denmark.
  • Trumpeter Thad Jones takes over the Count Basie band.
  • Blue Note is relaunched with a concert at Town Hall with drummer Art Blakey, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and others.
  • Drummer Philly Joe Jones dies.
  • Trumpeter Cootie Williams dies.
  • Pianist Chick Corea captures a new audience with his Elektrik Band with electric bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl.
  • Branford Marsalis tours with pop artist Sting.
  • Singer and promoter Bob Geldof's charity concert "Live Aid" reaches a global audience.
  • The sunken cruise ship The Titanic is located.
  • A new, sweeter Coca-Cola is introduced but Coca-Cola goes back to the original recipe due to poor sales.
  • Wynton Marsalis records Standard Time, establishing his reputation as a traditionalist.
  • Jazz-pop musician Kenny G has a hit with Songbird.
  • Jazz education and outreach organization Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz established in memory of the jazz legend.
  • The film ‘Round Midnight is released, starring saxophonist Dexter Gordon as a character loosely based on pianist Bud Powell; Herbie Hancock wins Academy Award for original score.
  • Jazz legend Benny Goodman dies.
  • The U.S. space shuttle Challenger explodes on launch.
  • The U.S. bombs Libya from a British air base.
  • Filmmaker Oliver Stone's Platoon receives an Academy Award.
  • The Iran-Contra Scandal becomes public.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative-action hiring quotas.
  • Electric bassist Jaco Pastorius dies, beat up by a bouncer in a South Florida bar.
  • Free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman reunites his original quartet.
  • Saxophonist Michael Brecker releases his first solo album.
  • A big band is formed to celebrate trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's seventieth birthday.
  • Major record labels begin massive reissues of classic jazz recordings on CD, reflecting the renewed interest in bebop and hard bop.
  • Classical Jazz, Lincoln Center's first concert series devoted exclusively to jazz, begins in Alice Tully Hall.
  • Artist Andy Warhol dies.
  • The stock market crashes.
  • Ex-Nazi deputy Rudolf Hess commits suicide in a Berlin prison.
  • President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the first treaty to reduce nuclear arms.
  • Pop vocalist Whitney Houston becomes the first female artist to have an album go straight to number one on the Billboard charts.
  • Arranger Gil Evans dies in Mexico.
  • Trumpeter Chet Baker dies in mysterious circumstances in Amsterdam.
  • Pianist Keith Jarrett is nominated for a Grammy for his recording of music by composer J.S. Bach.
  • Actor Clint Eastwood directs Bird, a biographical dramatization of the life of Charlie Parker.
  • A jumbo jet explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • American TV evangelist Jim Bakker is forced to resign after admitting to an affair.
  • The antidepressant drug Prozac is launched.
  • Trumpeter Roy Eldridge dies.
  • Trumpeter Woody Shaw dies.
  • Nineteen-year-old trumpeter Roy Hargrove records Diamond in the Rough.
  • John Zorn records the post-modern album Naked City.
  • Trumpeter and producer Quincy Jones records Back on the Block with a wide variety of genres from bop to rap.
  • Miles Davis records Amandla.
  • Artist Salvador Dali dies.
  • The Berlin Wall is opened.
  • Protesters are massacred at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
  • Writer Salman Rushdie is sentenced to death in Iran for writing his novel The Satanic Verses.
  • The U.S. invades Panama.
  • The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurs.
  • George H. Bush becomes president.
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