13 November 1928, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 22 May 1977, Los Angeles, California, USA. Born into a musical family (his mother played piano for the church run by his Presbyterian minister father), Hawes taught himself to play piano by listening to records of 30s jazz piano giants, among them Earl Fatha Hines and Fats Waller. He began to play professionally while still attending the Polytechnic High School. In his autobiography, Raise Up Off Me, he recalled leaving his graduation ceremony and heading straight for a gig with the Big Jay McNeely band. Hawes was briefly in New York but soon returned to Los Angeles, where he became an important participant in the burgeoning west coast school of jazz. He was a member of Howard McGhees band when the trumpeter hired Charlie Bird Parker for a gig at the Hi-De-Ho Club in Los Angeles, shortly after Parkers release from Camarillo.
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