William McKinley “Red” Garland, Jr. (May 13, 1923 – April 23, 1984) was an American modern jazz pianist. Known for his work as a bandleader and during the 1950s with Miles Davis, Garland helped popularize the block chord style of piano playing.
William “Red” Garland was born in 1923 in Dallas, Texas. He began his musical studies on the clarinet and alto saxophone but, in 1941, switched to the piano. Less than five years later, Garland joined a well-known trumpet player in the southwest – Hot Lips Page, playing with him until a tour ended in New York in March 1946. Having decided to stay in New York to find work, Art Blakey came across Garland playing at a small club, only to return the next night with Blakey’s boss, Billy Eckstine.