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Can You Get These Missed Jazzology Questions Right?

Jazzology is a game of knowledge. Contestants win by knowing some of the most interesting facts about the world of Jazz. While we have had some very knowledgeable contestants over the years, no one is completely infallible. There are questions that can stump even the biggest jazzologists. Willard Jenkins, esteemed jazz historian, 2024 NEA Jazz Master, and our Jazzology host, loves to make his questions challenging to keep people on their toes. If you were in their shoes, would you have gotten the questions correct? Test out your knowledge below to see if you can answer correctly the questions that contestants got wrong while playing Jazzology. Answers will be at the end so you can calculate your final score! 

  1. Name the Washington DC street where Duke Ellington grew up. A) 16th Street  B) Pennsylvania Ave.   C) Ward Place  D) Alabama Ave.  E) M. Street 

2. Which of the following singers had a hit record with the song “Baltimore Oriole”? 

A) Louis Jordan  

B) Gloria Lynne  

C) Dakota Staton  

D) Lorez Alexandria  

E) Betty Carter 

3. Flutist-composer-bandleader-educator Nicole Mitchell was the Chair of Jazz Studies and Professor of Music at which institution? 

A) University of California- Irvine  

B) University of Chicago  

C) University of Virginia  

D) University of Illinois- Chicago  

E) University of Pittsburgh 

4. Name the alto saxophonist whose autobiography was titled Straight Life. 

A) Frank Morgan  

B) Charlie Parker  

C) Sonny Criss  

D) Art Pepper  

E) Paul Desmond 

5. In which of the following notable bandleader groups did the late, great trumpeter Woody Shaw once play? 

A) Woody Herman  

B) Gerry Mulligan 

C) Wayne Shorter  

D) Stan Getz 

E) Herbie Hancock 

6. Cuban drummer-composer Dafnis Prieto – whose 2022 release is titled “Cantar” which includes contributions from the wonderful Brazlian vocalist Luciana Souza – was first introduced to North American audiences as a member of whose band? 

A) Chucho Valdes  

B) Paquito D’Rivera  

C) Buena Vista Social Club  

D) Jane Bunnett  

E) Hilario Duran 

7. The 1992 biography, Ornette Coleman: A Harmolodic Life was contributed by which of the following authors? 

A) Gary Giddens  

B) John Szwed  

C) John Litweiler  

D) Ashley Kahn 

E) Ned Sublette 

8. During the early 60s, the great drummer Tony Willams often played with bands led by saxophonist Sam Rivers. In December 1962, when he was only 17, Tony Williams joined whose band? 

A) Herbie Hancock  

B) Eric Dolphy  

C) Jackie McLean  

D) Miles Davis  

E) Andrew Hill 

9. At age 18, pianist George Cables formed a band called The Jazz Samaritans. What other future jazz great was the drummer of that band? 

A) Billy Hart  

B) Tony Williams  

C) Peter Erskine 

D) Billy Cobham  

E) Billy Higgins 

10. Tenor saxophonist and flutist Lew Tabackin, husband of pianist-bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi, is a native of what city? 

A) New York  

B) Newark  

C) Boston  

D) Philadelphia  

E) Pittsburgh 

Scroll past this dashing photo of our Jazzology host to see the answers! 


  1. (C) Ward Place 

  1. (D) Lorez Alexandria 

  1. (E) University of Pittsburgh 

  1. (D) Art Pepper 

  1. (A) Woody Herman 

  1. (D) Jane Bunnet (and the Spirts of Havana) 

  1. (C) John Litweiler 

  1. (C) Jackie McLean 

  1. (D) Billy Cobham 

  1. (D) Philadelphia 


How many did you get right? Nearly all of these questions were answered incorrectly by both contestants. If you were in their shoes, would you have gotten these questions right? Do you think you could take on Willard Jenkins himself? Let us know in the comments what your score was out of 10, and what you thought of these questions! 

If you got a great score and think you could win an episode of Jazzology, we’d love to have you on as a contestant! You can sign up to be put on our list here:  

Be sure to check out Jazzology, live-streamed every other Friday at 2:30 EST on our YouTube channel to keep testing your knowledge and watch others test theirs!  

You can check out all previous Jazzology episodes on our YouTube channel via the playlist. Subscribe to the channel to receive notifications for when we go live next!  


Written by Kristen Petronio


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