Illinois Jacquet was born Oct. 31, 1922. His mother was Sioux and his father was Creole. Raised in Texas with 5 siblings, Jacquet was performing as a child in his father's band along with 2 of his brothers as a saxophonist. After playing with a professional dance band at 15, he moved to LA where he met Nat King Cole. Cole introduced Jacquet to Lionel Hampton. At Hampton's request, Cole switched to tenor saxophone and joined Hampton's band. He was just 19 when he soloed on "Flying Home" in 1940. The song was an instant hit and now a classic. In 1943, he joined Cab Calloway's Orchestra. A year later he returned to California and started a band with his brother and Charles Mingus. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Jacquet performed mostly in Europe. In 1981, he became the leader of the Illinois Jacquet Big Band. In 1983, he was the first jazz musician to serve as an artist in residence at Harvard. In 1993, he played with Bill Clinton on the White House lawn for the inaugural ball. Jacquet died in 2004 of a heart attack.
Mixed Experience History Month is the annual blog post series created by New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow celebrating the history of the Mixed experience. Established in 2007, Mixed Experience History Month is an effort to highlight the long history of folks and events involved in the Mixed experience. Please look for more profiles of people, places and events of the Mixed experience every weekday of May at Lightskinned-ed Girl, the blog! Thanks for reading. And check out some of the previous year's profiles: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013. Copyright 2013.
was the first jazz musician to serve as an artist in residence at Harvard. In 1993, he played with Bill Clinton on the White House lawn for the inaugural ball. Jacquet died in 2004 of a heart attack.