Brothers in Jazz: the Heaths (Jimmy, Percy, and ‘Tootie’); Adderleys (Cannonball and Nat); Marsalis, of course (Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason). Those are the most likely to be recognized, but they are not the exceptions.

Some others include Brubeck (Dan, Chris); Mangione (Chuck and Gap); Montgomery (Wes, Monk and Buddy); Jones (Hank, Elvin and Thad); Brecker (Michael and Randy; Cohen (Avishai and Yuval, plus sister Anat); Au (Gordon, Brandon and Jeff).

I’m not certain there is a common experience that ties all these (and there are others) together. In some cases they have fathers who made a name for themselves in Jazz (Ellis Marsalis, Dave Brubeck), but it does not seem to be all that common. Reading through the biographies of the above, it would appear that all grew up in families that respected and often participated in music of all sorts.

None of these factors mean a thing if it ain’t got a person willing to commit woodshed time (sorry Duke) – and ability.

As I was researching this article, I wondered about sisters, but other than Anat Cohen above, there is a dearth of women to be added to this list. I did find a German Quartet called the Jazz Sisters.

In addition, I learned that the Chicago based Jazz Education Network, hosts a “Sisters in Jazz” competition “In an effort to support and promote more female involvement in jazz.” Perhaps, in few years we can include a list of “sisters in Jazz.”