Roy Brooks: Drumist 1938-2005

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Not a drummer, but a drumist Growing up in a Detroit with pianos in every house, Roy Brooks found the beginnings of his self-described purpose: to create a musical truth. Though Brooks received guidance from several of his more well-known contemporaries — Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane among them — he chose to forge his […]

Alma Smith: The Countess 1922-2012

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The Countess of Detroit Alma Smith (Born Mary Alma Foster, Montgomery, Alabama) was an established singer, composer, record label owner, educator, pianist, and vibraphonist based out of Detroit. Her talents took her on many national and international tours, as well as performances with several revered musicians in a number of well-known jazz and blues clubs. […]

Thomas “Beans” Bowles: 1926-2000

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 The ‘Unknown Artist’ No More Born in South Bend, Indiana, Thomas “Beans” Bowles began his musical as a child before moving to Detroit at the age of 17 to study at Wayne State University. He spent time touring with a U.S. Navy band before returning to Detroit to play as both a touring and […]