International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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East Meets West and West Eats Meat
2. Jazz and Vegetarianism
(with apologies to various Ravi Shankar album titles)

Famous Vegetarians

Back to the Famous Vegetarians Index

click on the links for more details about each musician:

Sun Ra (1914-1993) American Jazz musician, influenced Coltrane, Coleman etc below

Dizzy Gillespie (1917-93) American jazz trumpeter

Ravi Shankar (1920-) Indian sitar virtuoso, met and influenced John Coltrane and John McLaughhlin.

Bola Sete (1923-87) Brazilian guitarist

Miles Davis (May 1926-91) American jazz trumpeter
John Coltrane
(Sep. 1926-67) American Jazz saxophonist. Influenced by Ravi Shankar (named his son Ravi), influenced John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana.

John Dankworth (1927-) British saxophonist and bandleader

Horace Silver (Sep. 2, 1928-) American jazz pianist
Albert Mangelsdorff (Sep. 5, 1928-2005) German jazz trombonist. Toured eastern countries and linked to the 'free jazz' movement pioneered by Coltrane.

Ornette Coleman (Mar. 1930-) American jazz saxophonist, a creator of 'free jazz'
Sonny Rollins (Sep. 1930-) America jazz saxophonist

Abdullah Ibrahim (Oct. 1934-) South African born jazz pianist, played with Coltrane, Coleman etc. in the mid-60s

Burton Greene (Jun. 1937-) American free jazz pianist
Alice Coltrane (Aug. 1937-2007) wife of John Coltrane and a significant musician in her own right and equally into all things Indian

Herbie Hancock (Apr 1940-) Jazz pianist (USA)

John McLaughlin (Jan 1942-) Mahavishnu Orchestra (UK)

Michael Franks (1944) singer (USA)

Carlos Santana (Jul 1947) Mexican guitarist

Rachelle Ferrell (1961) singer (USA)



1949 - Ornette Coleman, age 19 with long hair, identified as vegetarian, in Texas...
- John Coltrane joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band

1956 - Ravi Shankar moved to the west to perform and record classical Indian music.
- Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, jazz saxophonists, recorded together.
1957 - John Coltrane influenced by Sun Ra to change his lifestyle, including vegetarianism, and started listening to Ravi Shankar records.
- Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver recorded together.
1958 - Horace Silver, jazz pianist, reported to be vegetarian.
- Monterey Jazz Festival included Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins

1960 - Monterey Jazz Festival included John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman

1961 - Monterey Jazz Festival included Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane

1962 - Sonny Rollins recorded with Ornette Coleman
- Monterey Jazz Festival included Dizzy Gillespie and Bola Sete

1963 - Monterey Jazz Festival included Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock

1964 - John Coltrane met Ravi Shankar in New York.
- Sun Ra and Burton Greene both in the Jazz Composers Guild of New York. Greene also using John Cage's technique of playing inside the piano.
- John Coltrane and Alice McLeod named their 2nd son 'Ravi'.
-Philip Glass (classical composer) met Ravi Shankar for the first time in Paris, they were working on film music which was originally intended for Ornette Coleman. Glass then went on to India and became vegetarian.
- Monterey Jazz Festival included Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock

1966 - John Coltrane married Alice McLeod in the USA.

1969 - Miles Davis "now vegetarian" while recording In a Silent Way with a band including John McClaughlin and Herbie Hancock
1970 - John McClaughlin met Sri Chimnoy and moved into all things Indian.
1971 - McClaughlin formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
1972 - Herbie Hancock, and his band, were vegetarian, at least for a while, and he became Buddhist.
- Carlos Santana was introduced to Sri Chimnoy by McClaughlin.
1973 - John McClaughlin and Carlos Santana recorded together, including John Coltrane compositions.
1974 - Carlos Santana and Alice Coltrane recorded Illuminations
1995 - Jeff Beck (blues/rock guitarist) played on John McClaughlin's 'The Promise' album, track 'Django'

1980 - Carlos Santana recorded with Herbie Hancock