Beginning with the Classical Masters my piano heroes come and go through the years.I started out with Art Tatum, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. I went through a period with Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, Ramsey Lewis and Joe Zawinul. I jumped on the band wagon with Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett. I took a side road and got into Jimmy Smith for a while, but I came back and found Bill Evans. I had always kept an eye on Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller and Scott Joplin. I loved Louis Moreau Gottschalk and then started checking out James P. Johnson, Bud Powell and Billy Taylor. So many more pianists are in that group its hard to name them all. When I was in high school I was in a quartet that mimed Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen”. His pianist, Johnnie Johnson, was in that class with Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. But being born and raised in New Orleans, my all time greatest heroes will always be Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and Ellis Marsalis. Mac Rebennack and Art Nevillie, I count as friends along with unknowns who taught me and helped along the way. Guys like Ronnie Barron,Wayne Devillier and Al Farrell never did make the “big” time, but are still a part of what I am. But after all is said and done there is one pianists that ranks as number one on my hero list. That man is the one and only Ray Charles. I had the good fortune to see Mr. Charles in person only five times, but each event is etched in my brain and memory banks. Each performance I attended was a religious experience. The list of great pianist is long and filled with giants. I hope that one day I will be remembered as one musician who strived to be as good as some of those greats. That alone will be an honor and all the fame I need.
My piano heroes
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I learned a lot from this post, much appreciated!