Earl RudolphBudPowell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was an American jazz pianist. Though Thelonious Monk was a close friend and influence, his greatest piano influence was Art Tatum.

Along with Charlie Parker, Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a leading figure in the development of modern jazz, or bebop. His virtuosity led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. Powell was also a composer, and many jazz critics credit his works and his playing as having “greatly extended the range of jazz harmony.”

Powell’s father was a stride pianist. Powell took to his father’s instrument at a very young age, starting on classical-piano lessons at the age of five. His teacher, hired by his father, was a West Indian man named Rawlins.

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