The UT Jazz Giants (circa early 1960s)
The late, great jazz legend Bill Scarlett was for decades a fixture in the Knoxville jazz scene. Scarlett, a native of Arkansas, fell in love with jazz after catching a Benny Goodman gig at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Several years later he found himself in a band with Art Pepper. Shortly after moving to Knoxville in 1957, Scarlett formed the University of Tennessee Jazz Giants, a hot jazz band consisting of UT students, professional jazz musicians, and UT faculty. The Giants could often be found playing around town during the 1960s and ’70s at long-defunct but fondly-recalled local jazz venues such as Gordon’s Blue Note and The Town House. Pictured here is an early version of the band. Scarlett can be spotted in the lower left-hand corner.