1. Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was a ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer.
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton is perhaps most notable as jazz’s first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated. His composition “Jelly Roll Blues” was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. Morton is also notable for naming and popularizing the “Spanish tinge” of exotic rhythms, and for penning suchstandards as “Wolverine Blues,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” and “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say”, the latter a tribute to turn-of-the-century New Orleans personalities.
2. Clarice Taylor, stage, film and television actress, best-known for her recurring role on television on The Cosby Show as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable’s (Bill Cosby) mother, Anna Huxtable. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1986 for the role. She also played Harriet on Sesame Street and appeared as Grady’s cousin Emma on Sanford and Son.
3. Chico Hamilton (born Foreststorn Hamilton), jazz drummer and bandleader. He had a fast-track musical education in a band with Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established him as a jazz drummer, and he struck out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.