Born on February 1, 1894, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, James Johnson was an influential African-American jazz pianist and a key figure in the transition from ragtime to jazz, but is still often skipped in musical history. Noted for his unusual ability to create variations and add musical embellishments to popular songs, Johnson pioneered the "stride" style of jazz piano and became famous for his hit "Carolina Shout." He died in New York City on November 17, 1955.
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