born September 16, 1921
Jon Hendricks is an acclaimed jazz vocalist and lyricist known as the "Father of Vocalese." He is considered by numerous critics to be one of the best living scat singers and was named by jazz journalist the "Poet Laureate of Jazz." At 14, Jon frequently sang with Art Tatum. During his college years in Toledo, Ohio, he sang with Charlie Parker, who encouraged him to sing professionally. Jon made his recording debut in 1955 with Dave Lambert; in 1957, he recorded with Lambert and Annie Ross. The trio became one of the best-known jazz vocal groups, known for their use of vocalese and their innovative arrangements. From 1968-1973, Jon worked in Europe; on his return, he worked for the .San Francisco Chronicle. His theatrical work about the history of jazz, The Evolution of the Blues, ran for five years off-Broadway. Jon's lyrics to compositions by Carmen McRae, Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, and many others.