Born: July 29, 1900 | Died: November 30, 1964 Primary Instrument: Arranger
Don Redman is considered the first jazz composer/arranger by many. He was also the first musician with both the inspiration and academic knowledge for this style of music. In short, he invented jazz writing for the big band, not only writing separate parts for reed and brass choirs, leaving room for hot solos, but putting sections in opposition which solved the problems of the new style, thus showing everyone else how to do it.
His brother led a band in Cumberland, Maryland and his father was a noted music teacher and had performed in a brass band. His mother was a singer. Don began playing the trumpet at the age of three, joined his first band at 6 and by the age of 12 was proficient on all wind instruments including the oboe....
Source: James Nadal