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Kevin E. Mooney

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...

Article

(b Armavir, Russia, March 15, 1919; d New York, Nov 22, 2017). Record producer and writer of Armenian descent. He grew up in New York, played piano (from 1930), and studied English literature at Yale University (BA 1941); while a student he began to work as a jazz critic for Tempo (1937). Later he was a contributing editor on jazz to Mademoiselle and Pic (1946–8), contributed to Esquire’s 1947 Jazz Book, and, with W.E. Schaap, revised and enlarged Charles Delaunay’s Hot Discography for its first American edition (1948). He wrote articles for Down Beat and Metronome and provided numerous liner notes for jazz albums. Avakian produced the pioneering documentary jazz album Chicago Jazz (1939–40) for Decca, and in early 1940 began to work for Columbia, where he established a series of jazz reissues. After four years of military service he returned to Columbia as a full-time record producer for jazz and popular music; he was director of the international department and later head of the popular album department. In ...

Article

Jesse Jarnow

(b Manhattan, NY, Oct 3, 1959). American music industry executive of Israeli descent. He helped bring hip hop to mainstream American culture and beyond. After graduating from college he landed a job at the semi-independent label Def Jam, where he worked for its co-founder Russell Simmons. In 1988 Cohen became president of the label, taking over from Rick Rubin, who had launched the company in his New York University dorm room and found success with the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Def Jam helped transform rap from specialized urban music to global pop. Although it had long been distributed by major labels, Cohen oversaw its integration with a series of larger companies and subsequently expanded its scope, especially after it merged with the Universal Music Group in 1999. As Island Def Jam with Cohen as president, the company ran other labels dedicated to gangsta rap (Murder, Inc.) and alternative country music (Lost Highway) and absorbed Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Under Cohen, Island Def Jam doubled its earnings. He moved to the Warner Music Group in ...

Article

Howard Rye

[Nugetre]

(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], July 31, 1923; d New York, Dec 14, 2006). American record producer, brother of Nesuhi Ertegun. He traveled internationally in his youth—his father was minister to Switzerland, Turkish observer at the League of Nations, and the Turkish ambassador to France (living in Paris from 1929), Great Britain (London from 1931), and the United States (Washington, DC, from 1934)—and was educated at St. John’s College, Annapolis (BA 1944). He first became involved with Herb Abramson in running two small, short-lived record labels, Quality and Jubilee; then in late 1947 the two men founded the company and label Atlantic (jazz), with Ertegun as vice-president. It became one of the largest independent labels concerned with jazz, rhythm-and-blues, and soul recordings, and retained this position throughout the 1950s and 60s. The company was purchased by Warner Bros. in 1967 but remained under its previous management. In the 1980s and 90s Ertegun continued to be an executive of great importance in popular music, and in ...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(Nicholas )

(b Boston, May 19, 1961). American pianist and record producer. He attended the Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music (BM piano and jazz 1983) and also studied classical Indian music (1983–4). Between 1986 and 1990 he led his own quartet, with either Joe Lovano or Dick Oatts on saxophone and Drew Gress and Jamey Haddad filling out the rhythm section, and from ...

Article

Dominique-René de Lerma

(b Baltimore, MD, c1840; d Surabaya [now in Indonesia], 1902). American minstrel-troupe manager. He became one of the most successful African American managers of minstrel groups. In about 1865 he organized the Original Georgia Minstrels, probably named after a 15-member troupe of former slaves called the Georgia Minstrels, established in April of that year by W.H. Lee in Macon. Hicks’s troupe began touring in the Northeast and the West and, within three years, included a 13-piece brass band. In 1870 Hicks and some of his members joined with Sam Hague’s Great American Slave Troupe (formerly Lee’s group) for a tour of the British Isles. In July of the following year there was a disagreement and Hicks returned to the United States. He sold his company to Charles Callender in 1872 but continued to work as its manager. From 1877 to 1880 he toured Australia with a new troupe, also called the Georgia Minstrels. Returning once more to the United States, he worked with various groups including Hicks and Kersands’ Minstrels, McIntosh and A.D. Sawyer’s Colored Minstrels, and Callender’s Minstrels, with whom he presented the Callender Consolidated Minstrel Festival in the Grand Opera House, New York, in ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Barry Kernfeld

(b Tokyo, Feb 25, 1947). Japanese guitarist and record producer. He gained a BS degree in physics at Nippon University in Tokyo and first played professionally with the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura in the 1960s; he also worked with the tenor saxophonist Jiro Inagaki and with Takeshi Inomata. After forming a group with Shigeharu Mukai and the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki, in 1973 he moved to New York, where he played with Joe Lee Wilson (1973), Gil Evans (1973–5), Chico Hamilton (for a tour of the USA, c1975>), and Elvin Jones (1976–7), with whom he toured the Americas and Europe and appeared in the documentary film Different Drummer (1979). In 1977–8 he toured Europe with JoAnne Brackeen and worked as a leader. Active from 1979 through the 1980s in computerized music and in the development and utilization of guitar synthesizers, in New York he formed the record company and label Satellites (...

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Barry Kernfeld

(b Batavia, Dutch East Indies [now Jakarta], Feb 23, 1919; d New York, 26 or July 27, 1990). Record producer of Javanese birth and Dutch parentage. He was educated in the Netherlands, where he first became acquainted with jazz, and he pursued this interest on returning to Batavia and after he moved to the USA in 1939. He worked as a record producer in New York and Chicago, then produced jazz recordings for the Keynote company (1943–6). In 1949 he recorded Al Haig for his own label, HL. After producing a few sessions for the label Seeco, including one by Wardell Gray, he briefly revived Keynote (1955), and thereafter worked as the principal expert on jazz at Sam Goody’s record store in New York (1956–73). In 1972 he founded a new company and label, Famous Door (see Famous Door). Obituaries give his death date as both 26 and 27 July....

Article

Jared Pauley

[Shimura, Tsutomu; (“Tom”)]

Rapper, producer, and songwriter. Shimura was born in Tokyo, Japan to Japanese and Jewish Italian American parents. His delivery is noted for incorporating multiple syllables and an extensive vocabulary. Growing up in Berkeley, California, he was a co-founder of the independent label Quannum Projects, which has released albums by Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Pigeon John, and others, including his own projects.

Early in his career, Shimura went by the name Asia Born but later changed it to Lyrics Born. His first single, “Send Them,” was released in 1993. The song was produced by DJ Shadow, and it featured the B-Side single “Entropy.” He later formed a group with Lateef the Truthspeaker called Latryx, and they released Latryx (The Album) in 1997.

Lyrics Born’s greatest commercial success as a solo artist occurred in 2003 with the release of his album Later That Day. The album featured the song “Callin’ Out,” which ended up being a surprise hit. The song was licensed by Electronic Arts for use in video games and by the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Shimura is also active as a voice-over actor, lending his voice to several shows and cartoon programs on Cartoon Network’s ...

Article

Barry Millington

(Petrovich)

(b Yaroslavl’, 17/Sept 30, 1917). Israeli director of Russian origin. He began his career as an actor in Moscow, first with the Second Studio of the Moscow Arts Theatre, and then at the Vakhtangov Theatre, with which he toured Europe in 1957. From 1964 to 1984...

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Peter G. Davis

[Lotfollah ]

(b Teheran, June 15, 1929); d San Fransisco, CA, August 31, 2013 American director and administrator of Iranian birth . After graduating from UCLA in 1953 with a degree in psychology, he turned to opera direction, serving as resident stage director for the Zürich Opera (1960–65) and the Geneva Opera (...

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Yozo Iwanami

(b Tokyo, March 3, 1942). Japanese bass player and record producer. He attended Nippon University in Tokyo and in 1964 moved to New York, where he studied double bass with Reggie Workman. In the mid-1970s he played both double bass and electric bass guitar in his own Rising Sun Band, which performed at many venues in New York, including The Kitchen, the Bottom Line, and the Village Gate; in ...

Article

Thomas Kaufman

( fl 1865–80). Italian impresario . During the span of only a few years, he was the first impresario to bring Italian opera to the Far East, including Hong Kong (March 1867), Manila (summer 1867), Singapore (May 1869) and Batavia June 1869. He toured Java extensively in ...