Featured Artist: Nat King Cole
One of the most influential artists in jazz history.
Who is Nat King Cole?
For Jazz Appreciation Month 2019, we are looking beyond borders to how jazz has influenced the world.
Nat King Cole (1919-1965) was one of the most influential jazz artists of his time. He faced a lot of racial prejudice, but pushed those boundaries to become one of the most successful artists of his time. He was one of the first African Americans to host his own radio show. His 1946 broadcast King Cole Trio Time was the first radio program to be sponsored by a black musician. Cole also went on to host the Nat King Cole Show, being the first African American to host a television series.
Explore Nat King Cole at the Museum
Centennial Year of Nat "King" Cole
Sunday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1 West
National Museum of American History
The royal moniker “King” has been bestowed on only a small percentage of artists. Nathaniel Adams Cole’s elevation to “King” was earned through his increasing rise to prominence, and his full mastery of the piano and voice. He pushed racial boundaries that sought to prevent him from success. Ranking among the most popular vocalists of his era, Cole eventually hosted his very own TV show in the 1950s. In March, the SJMO will feature guest vocalists Sharon Clark and Steve Washington in their celebration of the centennial year of Nat “King” Cole.
Smithsonian Jazz is made possible through leadership support from:
The LeRoy Neiman Foundation
The Argus Fund
The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation
founding donor of the Jazz Appreciation Month endowment
David C. Frederick and Sophia Lynn
The John Hammond Performance Series Endowment Fund