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William F. Lee III

[Henry J.]

(b Baltimore, Sept 27, 1927; d Parkville, MD, Sept 17, 2001). American composer, arranger, and baritone saxophonist. He studied at the US Navy School of Music, the College of William & Mary, Peabody Conservatory, the Catholic University of America, and Towson State University. In 1953 he joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra, for which he also wrote arrangements; he composed for Sal Salvador (1960–62), Don Ellis (from 1966), and Kenton (from 1969), and his Opus for Overextended Jazz Ensemble was given its première by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1971; his compositions are often characterized by unusual meters. Levy joined the faculty of Towson State in 1968 and was one of the original members of Kenton’s jazz workshops. Under his leadership the Towson State jazz band won competitions and, from 1976, recorded an album every year.

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