29 Facts About Ahmad Jamal


Ahmad Jamal was a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy for his contributions to music history.


Ahmad Jamal began playing piano at the age of three, when his uncle Lawrence challenged him to duplicate what he was doing on the piano.


Ahmad Jamal began formal piano training at the age of seven with Mary Cardwell Dawson, whom he described as having greatly influenced him.


Ahmad Jamal studied with pianist James Miller and began playing piano professionally at the age of fourteen, at which point he was recognized as a "coming great" by the pianist Art Tatum.


Ahmad Jamal began touring with George Hudson's Orchestra after graduating from George Westinghouse High School in 1948.


Ahmad Jamal joined another touring group known as The Four Strings, which disbanded when violinist Joe Kennedy Jr.


Ahmad Jamal converted to Islam and changed his name to Ahmad Jamal in 1950.


Ahmad Jamal says them in Arabic in keeping with the Muslim tradition.


Hammond, a record producer who discovered the talents and enhanced the fame of musicians like Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Count Basie, helped Ahmad Jamal's trio attract critical acclaim.


Ahmad Jamal subsequently recorded for Parrot and Epic using the piano-guitar-bass lineup.


Ahmad Jamal's recording of the well-known song "Poinciana" was first released on this album.


Ahmad Jamal played the set with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier.


Jazz musicians and listeners alike found inspiration in the At the Pershing recording, and Ahmad Jamal's trio was recognized as an integral new building block in the history of jazz.


Ahmad Jamal, who was 29 at the time, said he had a curiosity about the homeland of his ancestors, highly influenced by his conversion to the Muslim faith.


In 1962, The Three Strings disbanded and Ahmad Jamal recorded Macanudo with a full orchestra.


In 1964, Ahmad Jamal resumed performing after moving to New York, and started a residency at the Village Gate nightclub.


Ahmad Jamal recorded a new album, Extensions, with bassist Jamil S Nasser in 1965.


Ahmad Jamal joined forces with Fournier and drummer Frank Gant, among others.


Ahmad Jamal continued to play throughout the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in trios with piano, bass and drums, but he occasionally expanded the group to include guitar.


Ahmad Jamal was the main mentor of jazz piano virtuosos Hiromi Uehara, known as Hiromi and Shahin Novrasli.


In 1986, Ahmad Jamal sued critic Leonard Feather for using his former name in a publication.


Ahmad Jamal plays just what is needed and nothing more.


Ahmad Jamal emphasized space between notes in his musical compositions and interpretations instead of focusing on the fast-paced bebop style.


Stanley Crouch, author of Considering Genius, offered a very different reaction to Ahmad Jamal's music, claiming that, like the highly influential Thelonious Monk, Ahmad Jamal was a true innovator of the jazz tradition and is second in importance in the development of jazz after 1945 only to Parker.


Ahmad Jamal's contrasts were what impressed Miles.


Ahmad Jamal said his style evolved from drawing on the techniques and music produced in these three eras.


In 1985, Ahmad Jamal agreed to do an interview and recording session with his fellow jazz pianist, Marian McPartland on her NPR show Piano Jazz.


Ahmad Jamal said that when he grew in popularity from the Live at the Pershing album, he was severely criticized afterwards for not playing any of his own compositions.


Ahmad Jamal occasionally expanded his usual small ensemble of three to include a tenor saxophone and a violin.