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Article

Laurence Libin

(b Jirapa, Ghana, June 22, 1958). Ghanaian xylophone maker, player, and teacher. Born into a family of gyilli makers and players in northwest Ghana, Doozie began playing at six years of age. When he was 12 his father taught him to make his first gyilli and he was a practised maker by age 15. After secondary school Doozie moved to Accra to become a xylophonist with the Ghana Dance Ensemble. He was also an instructor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Among other appointments, he has performed with the National SO Ghana and has been associated with the Institute of African Studies and the music and performing arts departments of the University of Ghana. In 1990 he established a workshop to produce xylophones; he made the xylophones used in the Broadway production of The Lion King. He has also restored instruments in museum collections. He continues to teach and perform and is managing director of Dagarti Arts and Music in Accra and a member of the Arts Council of Ghana. He is also involved in promoting fair trade practices. Doozie’s xylophone bars—from eight to 18 for each instrument—are made of aged, fire-dried planks of wood from male shea trees. Gourd resonators are affixed under the bars, which are tied to the curved frame. The tips of the wooden beaters are padded with rubber recycled from tyres....

Article

Lars Westin

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Uppsala, Sweden, Sept 27, 1936; d Uppsala, March 11, 2009). Swedish vibraphonist. He started on piano but soon, influenced by the recordings of Lionel Hampton, made the vibraphone his main instrument. In the mid-1960s he began collaborating with Ove Lind, whose group, modeled after Benny Goodman’s classic swing quartet, was a tremendous success at the jazz club Stampen (the Pawn Shop), which opened in Stockholm in 1968. He made numerous recordings with Lind and, later on, with his own groups and with the Goodman-styled quartet Swedish Swing Society (which included Antti Sarpila and Ulf Johansson). Hailed as a leading exponent of swing and mainstream jazz in Sweden, Erstrand found himself in demand as an accompanist for American soloists on their tours of Europe, among them Goodman himself (1972). He also played and recorded with Hampton and participated in all-star groups at concerts and festivals worldwide. He made dozens of albums as a leader in Sweden to ...

Article

O Flückiger

(Lee)

(b Indianapolis, Feb 17, 1926; d Anghiari, Toscana, Italy, May 24, 2004). American pianist, vibraphonist, singer, and bandleader. After serving in France during the war he studied music at the conservatory in Dijon, at the University of Washington, and elsewhere. He led a jump band, the Question Marks, in Seattle through the late 1940s, then formed a trio modeled after that of Nat “King” Cole. From 1952 to mid-1953 he toured the USA and Canada with Lionel Hampton and later traveled in Alaska and California with his own groups. Having settled on the Canadian west coast, Gill hosted jazz projects involving such guest stars as Wes Montgomery. From the mid-1980s he toured internationally.

Article

Roger Dean

revised by Simon Adams

(b Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany, Aug 31, 1937). German vibraphonist and composer. He studied music and architecture and formed his first group in 1958. In 1969 he established his own record company, Birth, which exclusively documents his own work. His involvement in forms of contemporary music besides jazz led to his working with the composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Don Cherry, and the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra on the recording Actions (1971). In 1972 he formed the Galaxie Dream Band, an improvising collective. After working mainly with European musicians such as Manfred Schoof and Alex Schlippenbach, he formed lasting associations with several Americans, notably Perry Robinson and Jeanne Lee (whom he later married); Lee performed on many of his recordings and appeared regularly with the Galaxie Dream Band until her death in 2000. The saxophonist and flute player Thomas Keyserling was also a longstanding member of the group. Hampel toured widely in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America, often under the auspices of the Goethe Institute, and worked frequently in New York. He produced several videos of his performances, including ...

Article

[Marjorie]

(b New York, Aug 9, 1920; d Arcadia, CA, June 14, 2012). American vibraphonist. She recorded with Flip Phillips (1944) and was a soloist with Woody Herman’s First Herd (September 1944 – June 1945), with which she recorded and appeared in the film Earl Carroll Vanities (1945). She then led her own trio (1945–8). In 1946 she made recordings with Mary Lou Williams and Charlie Ventura, and the following year she performed in a concert with Williams and Ventura at Carnegie Hall. In February 1949 she began working with George Shearing (for illustration see ) and performed and recorded with him until she married and retired from music in 1950. Hyams may well be the piano soloist heard on Shearing’s pairing Cherokee/Four Bars Short, on which he plays accordion.

Article

Mary Talusan

(Sibay )

(b Datu Piang, Philippines, May 1, 1947). Master musician and teacher of kulintang, of Filipino birth. Kalanduyan is a respected artistic figure in Filipino communities around the United States and Canada for promoting Kulintang , an indigenous musical heritage predating Spanish and American colonization of the Philippines. Before settling in San Francisco, California, he was raised in the fishing village of Datu Piang, the artistic center of the Maguindanao people on the island of Mindanao, Philippines. As a young man, he won island-wide competitions on the gandingan (set of four large hanging knobbed gongs). As an undergraduate at Mindanao State University–Marawi, he toured the Far East with the Darangen Cultural Troupe. He was an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle under a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1976, and graduated from UW with a MA in ethnomusicology in 1984. In 1995 Kalanduyan became the first artist of Filipino descent to be awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. Kalanduyan has taught and performed with nearly all of the ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Grünstadt, Germany, June 8, 1919; d Stuttgart, Germany, March 20, 2010). German bandleader, arranger, and vibraphonist. He grew up in a musical family, played violin from the age of five and piano from the age of six, and took up clarinet about five years later; he studied clarinet and drums at the conservatory in Peine. His first professional engagement in big bands was as a saxophonist with Erhard Bauschke in Berlin in 1938–9, and he played piano and wrote arrangements for German radio bands from 1945. With Horst Kudritzki he led the Rundfunk Berlin Tanzorchester, with which he recorded in 1948. In the 1950s he began to play vibraphone, and from 1951 to 1991 he led the big band of Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR Big Band) in Stuttgart; he produced the jazz program “Treffpunkt Jazz” for the same station in 1955. Many famous guest artists performed with the SDR Big Band, and Wolfgang Dauner, Bill Holman, Manfred Schoof, Alex Schlippenbach, and Eberhard Weber are among those who wrote for it; bandmembers included Horst Jankowski (...

Article

Jessica L. Wood

(b Kauia, Territory of Hawaii, Feb 2, 1932; d Ewa, HI, Feb 24, 2002). Hawaiian bandleader, vibraphonist, and arranger. Arthur Lyman’s musical career began on a toy marimba; he taught himself to play along with Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton recordings. At age 14, he joined a jazz combo called the Gadabouts and a few years later, he began playing the four-mallet vibes at a hotel bar in Honolulu. In 1955 he joined the ensemble of Martin Denny, a group famous among the Hawaii hotel circuit for its style of exoticist jazz, sometimes referred to as “Polynesian” music. To this group, Lyman contributed not only on the vibes, guitar and percussion, but also with vocalized imitations of birdcalls. In 1957, Lyman split from Denny’s group to form his own four-piece jazz band, joined by John Kramer (bass), Alan Soares (piano), and Harold Chang (percussion). The Arthur Lyman Group recorded a number of albums on the HiFi label between ...

Article

Jonas Westover

[Elliot ]

(b Sans Souci, Trinidad, Nov 5, 1927). American steel pan musician. Called the “father of the modern steel drum,” Mannette began playing music as a child, and by age 11 he was already performing with the New Town Calvary Tamboo Bamboo. When the colonial British government banned traditional instruments, locals began experimenting with alternatives. Mannette was among those to introduce new percussion instruments made of trash can lids and other found objects, and he and several friends started the Oval Boys, which eventually took the name the Woodbruck Invaders. As a talented machinist, Mannette took oil drums and their lids to produce musical instruments, and he spent decades honing these skills to develop sophisticated creations. By 1951 the Trinidadian government realized the importance of Mannette’s work, and formed an 11-person pan-band called the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra that was organized by Lt. Joseph Griffith. Mannette continued to work with the Invaders, however, and in ...

Article

Simon Adams

(b London, Jan 31, 1949). English vibraphonist. A member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in his teens, he studied at Trinity College of Music, London (1967–70), and played with Neil Ardley (recording in 1968, 1969, and 1971) and the tenor saxophonist Dave Gelly. He formed his own quartet in the early 1970s, but also worked with Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs (recording in 1969–72), Stan Tracey (recording in 1970), Harry Beckett (recording in 1970–72), Norma Winstone (recording in 1971), and Gordon Beck’s Gyroscope (1973–4). In the 1980s he played with Chris Laurence and John Taylor in Paragonne (with whom he recorded Aspects of Paragonne, 1985, MMC 010), and also recorded with Beck (1984) and Guy Barker (the album Holly J, 1989, Miles Music 078).

Having appeared on film soundtracks occasionally in the 1970s, from the mid-1980s into the new century Ricotti concentrated on studio and freelance work, playing and composing music for films, television, and other media; in these settings he utilized a wide array of percussion instruments in addition to the vibraphone. Apart from contributing to the soundtracks of many popular films, early on in this work he composed and served as music director for the made-for-television serial “The Beiderbecke Trilogy” (1985–8), for which he produced music in the style of Bix Beiderbecke; in 1989 he won a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for original television music for ...

Article

John Chilton

(b New York, NY, June 28, 1903; d Homestead, FL, May 15, 1956). American jazz bass saxophonist and vibraphonist. He was originally a pianist and xylophone player, and worked from 1922 to 1927 with the California Ramblers, with whom he made hundreds of recordings. While with this band he bought his first bass saxophone, and specialized on this instrument throughout the 1920s and early 1930s; he also provoked admiring astonishment among fellow musicians by playing jazz on novelty instruments such as the “hot fountain pen” and the “goofus” (an instrument resembling a toy saxophone and made by Couesnon in France during the 1920s). In these years he became one of the first outstanding white jazz musicians; his adept improvisations on the unusually cumbersome bass saxophone were melodically inventive and possessed rhythmic vitality and swing. He is best remembered for his series of recordings with Bix Beiderbecke, wherein he displays considerable adroitness, both in the improvised ensembles and in his solos. During the 1930s he began to concentrate on playing vibraphone; he never rose above competence on that instrument, however, whereas in his by then rare performances on bass saxophone he still showed mastery. The last years of his life were spent mainly playing commercial engagements in Florida. His brother Art Rollini was a tenor saxophonist with Benny Goodman’s band....

Article

Simon Adams

[Luttenbacher, Harold Russell jr]

(b Detroit, Aug 28, 1924; d Chicago, Sept 5, 1992). American saxophonist, trumpeter, vibraphonist, drummer, and bandleader. His birth year had been published as 1926, but 1924 appears on his December 1942 draft registration card, which he signed “Harold Russell Luttenbacher Jr.” He began to play drums at the age of four and led a quartet while at high school; as a percussionist he received a scholarship to the University of Illinois, where he led a big band and learned trumpet. In the late 1940s he served as drummer in the big bands of Woody Herman, with whom he made his recording début, Boyd Raeburn, and Claude Thornhill. In 1950 he briefly played vibraphone with Miles Davis’s quintet, and for the remainder of the decade he was based in Chicago, where he accompanied visiting musicians, notably Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. In 1959 he played an early form of free jazz as the drummer in a trio led by saxophonist Joe Daley, with whom he recorded at the ...

Article

W Knauer

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Berlin, Nov 12, 1933; d Hamburg, Nov 12, 2018). German vibraphonist. He studied piano as a child and percussion and timpani at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin from 1950 to 1954, during which time he began playing in dance bands. He focused on jazz after being inspired by a Lionel Hampton concert in Berlin in 1952. He recorded with Michael Naura in Berlin in 1955 and then moved to Hamburg to join Naura (1956–64), whose quintet played music after that of George Shearing, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Cannonball Adderley’s group; they mainly worked at the Barrett, a cellar bar in Hamburg, and they performed at the Deutsches Jazz Festival Frankfurt in 1964. He also played with Rolf Kühn (1956), Horst Jankowski (1961), the German All Stars (1963), and Volker Kriegel (1978). In Hamburg in 1965 he joined the orchestra of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, with which he remained until ...

Article

Daniel John Carroll

[McDaniel, Rudy ]

(b Hempstead, NY, June 11, 1956). American jazz electric bass guitarist. His name was Rudy McDaniel until his conversion to Islam. Tacuma began playing the bass at the age of 13 and by the age of 19 was a member of Ornette Coleman’s band Prime Time, an experience that he has described as revelatory. He also recorded his own albums Showstopper (1983), (In the) Nightlife (1983), Renaissance Man (1984), Music World (1986), and Jukebox (1988) for Gramavision. He also played in a duo, Drummer Exchange, with the drummer Cornell Rochester. In addition to performing in traditionally composed jazz ensembles, Tacuma has utilized less conventional instruments in his groups such as the Japanese shamisen and koto and Korean drums. He has also integrated elements of rap with jazz. He describes himself as a musician in a never-ending pursuit of the full potential of the electric bass, rather than confining himself to a background position in an ensemble. This aim is supported by his solo technique: upbeat, highly pointed, and exploiting the full tonal range of the bass....

Article

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Joseph A.]

(b New York, June 20, 1929; d Nevada, Feb 14, 2019). American vibraphonist and leader. He received a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and after playing in clubs and dance bands in New York (late 1940s) he led his own quartet (1950–52). Venuto was a percussionist with the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra from 1953 to 1956 and continued to record with the band into the 1960s. After a brief association with Benny Goodman (1956) he worked as a percussionist in the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall (1956–8), performed and recorded with Johnny Richards (1958–9), and was active as a studio musician. He recorded on vibraphone with Jack Teagarden (1958), on marimba with Rex Stewart (1959), and on both instruments as a leader (1959). He is heard to advantage on Redhead (1959...

Article

Otto Flückiger

(b Zurich, Jan 2, 1932; d Zurich, Dec 12, 2012). Swiss vibraphonist. He studied trombone and piano before taking up vibraphone and in 1952 joined Rio de Gregori’s dance band. From 1955 he was based in Stockholm as a member of Hacke Björksten’s groups, which toured with Stan Getz and Tony Scott. Weil started his own band in 1957. It toured Sweden and performed initially in a popular vein, but in 1958 altered its style more towards jazz; George Gruntz, Daniel Humair, and visiting American soloists appeared with the group during this time. Later, while touring mainly in Scandinavia (into the 1970s), it returned to popular styles. Weil finally disbanded the group and returned to Switzerland to work in the recording industry as an artists-and-repertory man. He hosted a jazz radio show, worked for nine years in a marketing position for the GRP label, and then in 1995...