Ahmad Alaadeen

One of the most significant musicians based in the Kansas City area in the 1990s, Ahmad Alaadeen started to make a stronger impression outside of the city limits in the late '90s on his own ASR label. Primarily known as Alaadeen, the saxophonist studied at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, St. Mary's College and Chicago's DePaul University. Since the 1950s he has had many short-term engagements, including with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and a variety of top R&B performers; he also spent much time performing with Jay McShann. Alaadeen spent periods of time living in New York, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis and San Antonio, but eventually settled back in his native Kansas City. He won songwriting competitions sponsored by Billboard in 1990 and 1991 for his songs "Big Six" and "Blues for R.C." In addition to recording with the City Light Orchestra and the City Light Jazz Ensemble, he made two recordings for his ASR label, performed regularly with his Deans of Swing, and worked as an important jazz educator. ~ Scott Yanow

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