THE ICON: Charles “Buddy” Bolden
THE LEGACY: While much about his life remains obscured by legend and myth, music historians agree that if Buddy Bolden didn’t invent jazz, he and his band are essential to understanding how it came to be. At the turn of the 20th century, Bolden, a New Orleans cornet player whose style was described as loud and fearless, took an improvised version of ragtime, added some bold brass blues, and mixed it with inspiration from gospel music heard in black churches. American music would never be the same. Years after his death, the sound would be called jazz and Bolden would be crowned its first king.
THE ARTIST: Jeff Morgan, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “(Bolden was) the most powerful trumpet in history … the blowingest man since Gabriel.” – Jelly Roll Morton