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Where to Find Jazz Biographies

JazzBiographies.com is the fastest way to find internet jazz biographies. No more wading through fruitless search results!

Click on Contents to see our web pages for over 2000 jazz artists and writers. Each page provides a written biography or links to the best biographies we have found on the web.

Some of the biography websites that we recommend on our pages are listed below. Click on any of the links for a review of that website (with regard to jazz biographies).


Record label websites are also interesting and can provide useful information. The major record labels have substantial biographies. Most offer descriptions of individual CD’s, song lists with audio clips, and online stores. Labels which produce other music as well as jazz can be accessed by musical genre. We favorably compared four large labels with a few differences: ConcordMusicGroup.com offers select free downloads; Bluenote.com has homepage links to articles, news stories, and Bluenote radio; Telarc.com provides a personnel list for each CD. To maintain an artist tour roster for a large label is a daunting task, so it is no wonder that Telarc’s is not complete or that Blue Note’s is mostly blank. However, VerveMusicGroup.com includes tour dates on artist pages along with a variety of links and space for reader comments.

Jazz has always had a large share of the independent label market, so we looked at some well known “indies.” Munich-based ECM (ECMRecords.com), established in 1969 by Manfred Eicher, has a roster that represents artists from around the world. There are album descriptions but no artist biographies; however, the website maintains an up-to-date artist tour schedule. Criss Cross Records, founded in 1980 and based in the Netherlands (CrissCrossJazz.com), has a fascinating feature which allows visitors to look up a song title and access each album in which it is featured. It has no online store but provides links to sellers. Sunnyside Records has been around since 1982 and has a sophisticated website (SunnySideRecords.com) which continually streams complete selections from albums instead of one-minute snippets. The site provides biographies and also offers vinyl for sale.

Internet Movie Database IMDB

Number of jazz biographies 1000+
Words per biography (avg.) From 150 to 5000 words for major Hollywood stars
Genres covered All films
Pros Most of the information you could want on films is available with multiple links to special categories such as videos and photos. In the case of songwriters, some have extensive career information but no biography. For instance, there is a filmography of over 800 films for which Harry Warren wrote music, including the names of specific songs. While Cole Porter’s page contains both a lengthy biography and filmography, some information is incomplete. Evil Under the Sun, which features his compositions throughout the film, lists only one song. For musicals featuring the compositions of several composers, there is a link to the soundtrack. A link to further details is available only to subscribers.
Cons In the case of jazz musicians such as Bud Shank who were active in Hollywood studios, the list of films is incomplete. If you look up Pat Metheny, the links do not include The Falcon and the Snowman for which he and Lyle Mays composed the soundtrack.

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