Jaco Pastorius was an influential bass guitarist who was born December 1st, 1951 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He is best known for his work with Weather Report, Pat Metheny, and Joni Mitchell. Pastorius died in 1987.
Scott Joplin was born November 24th, 1868. He was a composer and pianist who popularized the ragtime genre through his music. Two of his best known compositions are “The Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer”. Joplin was raised in Texarkana, Texas. He played his music at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, setting off a national ragtime craze. While Joplin’s ragtime compositions made him famous he also wanted to be recognized as a classical composer. He wrote a ballet and two operas which combined his knowledge of classical music and his innovative usage of syncopated rhythm. Joplin spent the last years of his life attempting to get his second opera Treemonisha performed publicly. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1916 and had to be institutionalized. He died in 1917. Scott’s work regained widespread popularity in the 1970’s after the release of the film “The Sting” which used his ragtime compositions as the basis for the film’s score.
Hoagy Carmichael was born November 22nd, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. He was a pianist, actor, and composer best known for writing the jazz standards Stardust, written in 1927, and Georgia on My Mind, written in 1930. Carmichael moved to Los Angeles in 1936 and began composing for films and acting in supporting roles. He won an Oscar in 1951 in the Best Song category for In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening. Carmichael died in 1981.