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Jackie McLean (1931–2006) was an alto saxophonist and composer, who is remembered as a virtuosic player, and a prominent educator. Coming up during the hard bop and post-bop era, McLean’s playing style was fierce and intense in tone, with a wide rhythmical range.

Throughout his career, McLean collaborated with a plethora of jazz greats including pianist Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Art Blakey. He also became a revered leading man, particularly during his time with Blue Note. His ear for prodigious talent made him an early champion of drummer Tony Williams, or contemporary harpist Brandee Younger. Accordingly, the University of Hartford invited him to create and spearhead the prestigious Jackie MacLean Institute of Jazz.