Cal Tjader – Vibraphone – (July 16, 1925 – May 5, 1982)
Cal Tjader was born on July 16th in 1925 in Saint Louis, Missouri and that fact surprises me! See I thought that Tjader was Latin! I discovered Tjader’s music, because he plays vibraphone and Gary Burton’s album For Hamp. Bags, Red and Cal, led me to it! As “I listened to his Latin influenced music I just assumed that he was Latin. But in fact he is the son of touring Swedish American vaudevillians! His father tap danced and his mother played piano, a husband-wife team going from city to city with their troupe to earn a living.His father taught him to tap dance. He performed around the Bay Area as “Tjader Junior,” a tap-dancing wunderkind. He performed a brief non-speaking role dancing alongside Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in the film The White of the Dark Cloud of Joy!