In OctoJAZZarians, a regular jazz.com feature, arnold jay smtih profiles jazz legends who are creative and active beyond their eighth decade. For the most recent article, featuring vocalist Bob Dorough, click here. Below are links to each of our previous OctoJAZZarian profiles. Click on the image or name below to view the article.


Clark Terry

One of the most admired trumpeters in the history of jazz, Clark Terry served as inspiration to Miles Davis and countless others in a historic career that has found him gigging with everyone from Duke Ellington to the Tonight Show band.


Dr. Billy Taylor

Dr. Billy Taylor is a world class jazz pianist, but he has also distinguished himself as a broadcaster, educator and influential jazz advocate. He founded the jazzmobile and hosted the first network TV series on jazz.

Toots Thielemans by Suzanne Cerny


Toots Thielemans

Toots Thielemans started as a guitarist, but this beloved jazz artist made the biggest splash with the tiniest instrument. More than anyone else, Thielemans has brought the harmonic into the modern jazz age.



Hank Jones

Hank Jones’ career has intersected almost every other major figure in jazz during the last seven decades. But Jones doesn’t need superstar associations to demonstrate his brilliance, just a grand piano.

Jimmy Heath by Suzanne Cerny


Jimmy Heath

Saxophonist / composer Jimmy Heath has been a leading light of the jazz world from his early days with Miles, through his later work with the Heath brothers, and on-going efforts as performer, educator and jazz advocate.



Randy Weston

Randy Weston, a path-breaking pianist and composer, was a pioneer of World Fusion even before it had a name, bringing together jazz, African and other musical currents in an influential body of work.


Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland is world famous as the host of NPR's Piano Jazz. She was also one of the first jazz artists to found a record label. But these were merely encores for an artist who has made her mark as a leading pianist / composer.


Chico Hamilton

One of the most melodic drummers in the history of jazz, Hamilton helped fuel the cool school and West Coast sound. He was also a prescient talent scout for his seminal bands featuring Eric Dolphy and other future stars.

Russell Garcia by Suzanne Cerny


Russell Garcia

Russell Garcia ranks among the finest composers and arrangers of his generation, putting his stamp on albums with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and others, as well as numerous Hollywood projects.



Dick Katz

For over a half century, Dick Katz has been a leading pianist on the jazz scene, working his magic alongside many iconic figures of the art form in small combos and big bands, and serving as co-founder of Milestone Records.

Barbara Carroll by Suzanne Cerny


Barbara Carroll

Whether playing on 52nd Street, on various recordings, or during her quarter-century stint at The Carlyle, Barbara Carroll's has made her mark as an incomparable interpreter of the American popular song.



Carline Ray

Whether working with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm or participating in a pioneering Mercer Ellington-Alvin Ailey collaboration, Carline Ray has broken down barriers in the jazz world.

 Joe Wilder by Suzanne Cerny


Joe Wilder

NEA Jazz Master Joe Wilder (born 1922) went on the road with Les Hite at age 19, and never looked back. The beloved artist was a favorite with Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends.



George Wein

George Wein is more than just the piano player in the band (a role he fills admirably), but even more famously the impresario who established the Newport Jazz Festival and many other important jazz events.


Jon Hendricks

Time magazine has called him the James Joyce of jive. Singer Jon Hendricks is one of the originators of vocalese and his delightfully stylized work has influenced everyone from Al Jarreau to Bobby McFerrin.


Dick Hyman

Dick Hyman has the history of jazz piano at his fingertips. He has worked with everyone from Benny Goodman to Woody Allen, and has released more than 100 albums over the course of his celebrated career.


Buddy DeFranco

One of the most admired and prolific clarinetists in the history of jazz, Buddy DeFranco, has some twenty Downbeat awards and more than 150 records to his credit in a career spanning eight decades.


Bob Dorough

Vocalist Bob Dorough, with his wry and deeply personal singing style, has attracted a devoted following and has covered it all, from recording with Miles Davis to serving as composer and vocalist for Schoolhouse Rock.

Artwork by Suzanne Cerny