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Mary Talusan

(b Anaheim, CA, Nov 15, 1970). American jazz percussionist and composer. Of Filipino heritage, Ibarra grew up in Houston, Texas. She received a music diploma from Mannes College and a BA from Goddard College. She studied drums with Buster Smith and Vernel Fournier and percussion with Milford Graves. She also played with William Parker and his big band, The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. In the 1990s, Ibarra became interested in Philippine musical traditions and took lessons on kulintang from master artist Danongan Kalanduyan. She joined the avant-garde free jazz quartet led by David S. Ware and became well known in the New York jazz scene. She collaborated on several albums with a number of respected musicians such as Assif Tsahar, Cooper-Moore, Charles Burnham, Chris Speed, Wadada Leo Smith, and Pauline Oliveros, notably on the album ...

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Jane Alaszewska

An ensemble using mainly indigenous Japanese percussion instruments for performance on the stage.

Japanese indigenous percussion traditionally served as an accompaniment in ritual music and classical theatre. Its post-war transition to centre-stage was mainly a result of the work of jazz drummer Oguchi Daihachi who, by featuring these instruments in a series of compositions exploring the interface between jazz and ritual drumming, brought them to the fore in contemporary composition. The performance of Oguchi's work at the ...

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Michael Baumgartner

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 1931; d New York, NY, Nov 22, 2011). American jazz drummer and composer. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12. During the Korean War he studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington before being stationed in Brooklyn from ...

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John L. Clark Jr.

(b Chicago, IL, June 22, 1903; d Palm Springs, CA, June 7, 1971). American jazz drummer and bandleader. Born into a wealthy family, he began playing drums and was hired by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, with whom he played and recorded in ...

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Gareth Dylan Smith

(b New York, NY, Dec 15, 1931; d New York, NY, March 16, 1988). American jazz drummer. He is widely acknowledged as one of the great, if underappreciated, jazz drummers, developing a new vocabulary on the instrument in the early 1960s along with Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell. He came to fame in the explorative, pioneering, and avant-garde band of bassist Charles Mingus, which he joined in ...

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(b Savannah, GA, July 17, 1933). American jazz drummer. Riley moved to New York at age four and as a teenager began music studies with Cecil Scott, in whose band he also played. After returning to Harlem following his service as a member of the 187th Airborne band (...

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Michael Fitzgerald

(b Miami, FL, Sept 3, 1932). American jazz drummer. Roker moved to Philadelphia at age ten and was introduced to music in school bands and local drum and bugle corps, in which he played by ear. Formal studies began at age 23, following service in the US Army from ...

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J. Bradford Robinson

(b Oak Park, IL, April 26, 1907; d Newark, NJ, Dec 9, 1948). American jazz drummer. As a member of the Austin High School Gang in the mid-1920s he had a formative influence on Chicago-style jazz. In the late 1920s he toured Europe, where he made his first recordings in Berlin (...

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Matthew Alan Thomas

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Jan 20, 1960). American percussionist. He began playing snare drum at nine years old and performed with the Pittsburgh Youth SO as a teenager. He studied classical percussion at Duquesne University before transferring to Berklee College of Music, where he met Kevin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis, and Wallace Roney. He frequently performed on vibraphone as a Berklee student and played with Marvin “Smitty” Smith in the school’s fusion ensemble. Watts recorded and toured regularly with Wynton Marsalis’s quintet (...