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Article

Brian W. Pritchard

Member of Ashley family

(b London, March 6, 1771; d London, Jan 5, 1815). English organist, pianist and singing master, son of John Ashley. He and his two younger brothers were trebles in the chorus at the 1784 Handel Commemoration. Although noted as both organist (at Tavistock Chapel and subsequently at Covent Garden Theatre) and pianist, being a pupil of the celebrated J.S. Schroeter, he was even more famed as a singing teacher. His pupils included Eliza Salmon (née Munday), Mrs Vaughan (Miss Tennant), Master (James) Elliot and Charles Smith, all of whom performed in the Covent Garden Oratorios and further afield in the family’s festivals. After his father’s death, Ashley continued to preside at the organ for the Oratorios until 1813 and assisted General Christopher Ashley in their management.

Ashley was also a composer; his published works include three sonatas for piano and violin op.1 (London, c ...

Article

[Jean]

(b Akron, OH, Aug 14, 1927). American pianist and singer. Her birth date appears in Eagle and LeBlanc (2013); in her autobiography, Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On: My Life in Music (Austin, TX, 2006), Cheatham confirmed that she was born in the summer of 1927, after having previously withheld her year of birth from the public domain. As a child she accompanied her mother’s youth gospel choir and played for shows at the Cosmopolitan Club, Akron. After attending Akron University she toured with a group led by the saxophonist Jimmy Colvin, which was mostly based in Canada but was for a time the house band at the Flamingo Club in Columbus, Ohio. In the late 1950s in Buffalo she married Jimmy Cheatham, and in the early 1960s she moved with him to New York. From 1971 to 1977 the couple were both visiting professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where they also hosted a weekly jam session at the Church Key. In ...

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, 1675–6 or 1678–9; d Versailles, May 30, 1728). Singer and harpsichordist, daughter of (2) François Couperin (i). Titon du Tillet and the act of decease agree on the year of her death, but disagree as to her age, the former giving it as 52, the latter as 49; her date of birth is otherwise undocumented. On her reception as ...

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

Lara E. Housez

(Ian )

(b Oceanside, NY, May 15, 1956). American composer, lyricist, librettist, pianist, and singer. After studying composition at Carnegie Mellon University, Gordon settled in New York, where he emerged as a leading writer of art song, chamber pieces, opera, and musical theater. Drawing on his own texts as well as those by Marie Howe, Langston Hughes, Tina Landau, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Dorothy Parker, among others, Gordon dramatizes complex and mature subject material with sophisticated musical means that often stretch beyond the traditional palette of popular and Broadway music. In 2007, he made his largest musical statement to date with The Grapes of Wrath, an ambitious full-scale opera in three acts with a libretto by Michael Korie based on John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera and Utah Symphony and Opera and co-produced by Pittsburgh Opera and Houston Grand Opera, the work melds popular musical styles and forms of the 1920s and 30s, featuring guitar, banjo, saxophone, and harmonica, with the classical drama of grand opera. Gordon often twists the accessible sounds for critical effect. He has nine recordings devoted to his music, and a cast of such internationally acclaimed vocalists as Kristin Chenoweth, Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald, Frederica von Stade, and Dawn Upshaw have featured his songs on 19 other discs. His publications include: four songbooks, ...

Article

William Geoffrey Shaman

revised by Jonas Westover

(b New York, NY, April 27, 1869; d New York, NY, Feb 15, 1943). American conductor, composer, and pianist. As a child, he sang boy soprano in several churches, singing solos in many oratorios and cantatas. He studied piano with Charles Blum, singing with William Courtney, composition with Frederick Schilling, and conducting with anton Seidl , and he began his career as an organist at various churches in the New York area. He was a rehearsal pianist and coach at the Metropolitan Opera (1892–5), conductor of the Utica Choral Union (1893–4), and assistant conductor to Seidl at the Brighton Beach Summer Concerts (1895–6); after 1899 he devoted himself primarily to teaching and composing. He also enjoyed a strong reputation as an accompanist, appearing frequently with major concert artists. He was particularly supportive of new music of his era, championing Arthur Foote and others. From ...

Article

Karen M. Bryan

[Douglas, Lena ]

(b Kansas City, KS, 1885; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 24, 1974). American critic, composer, singer, and pianist. After receiving a BSc from Western Ontario University in Quindaro, Kansas, Holt studied at the Chicago Musical College and earned the first MusM in composition awarded to an African American (1918). During the 1920s she performed as a singer throughout Europe, studied composition briefly with Nadia Boulanger, and developed close friendships with Harlem Renaissance figures such as Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes.

While Holt’s career included periods in which she composed (only one of approximately 200 compositions survive) and performed (she sang extensively in private venues during her travels), she always returned to music journalism. She served as critic for The Chicago Defender from 1917–21, becoming the first woman music critic in the United States. During this same period she published Music and Poetry (1919–21), in which she included new compositions (including her own)....

Article

Howard Rye

[née BigbeeHall, Betty]

(b Topeka, KS, Jan 11, 1911; d Torrance, CA, April 20, 2009). American pianist and singer. The daughter of a cornetist and brass-band leader named George Arthur Bigbee, she learned piano from an uncle. Her family moved to California while she was a child, and after graduating from Hollywood High School in 1926 she married a banjoist named Hall. They were separated by 1936, when she worked for five weeks as relief pianist in Buster Moten’s band at the Reno Club in Kansas City. On her return to California she joined Roy Milton’s band at Louie’s in Los Angeles, and she stayed with Milton until 1942. In 1945 she joined Luke Jones’s trio. During the latter part of the decade she made recordings with Jones (I love you, love me too, Atlas 134, and Boogieology, Atlas 143, both c1946) and other leaders, including Maxwell Davis. In the mid-1940s she married the trombonist Jasper Jones, and in ...

Article

Renee Lapp Norris

(b 1823, in Lancaster or Philadelphia, PA; d Chillicothe, MO, Sept 10, 1868). American composer, manager, arranger, singer, and pianist. Of German ancestry, Kneass began his career as a child, appearing in 1828 in Philadelphia. By the early 1840s, he was performing vocal concerts in New York with a group that included Mrs. Eliza Sharpe (whom he may have married), George Holman, and Joseph H. Kavanagh. In the autumn of 1844, Kneass, Holman, and Kavanagh sang in the chorus for the American premiere of Michael William Balfe’s opera The Bohemian Girl. In the spring of 1845, Kneass directed and performed as a blackface minstrel with the Ethiopian Troupe of Burlesquers, which also included Sharpe, Holman, and Kavanagh. They performed opera parody skits at Palmo’s Opera House in New York City, including The Virginian Girl, a parody of The Bohemian Girl. During the next several years, Kneass performed with the New Orleans Serenaders, a troupe known for its opera parodies, and managed the Sable Harmonists, which toured the American South and the British Isles. In ...

Article

Georg Karstädt and Arndt Schnoor

[Kuntzen]

German family of musicians.

Kunzen, Johann Paul (b Leisnig, Saxony, Aug 31, 1696; d Lübeck, March 20, 1757)

Kunzen, Adolph Carl (b Wittenberg, Sept 22, 1720; d Lübeck, bur. July 11, 1781)

Kunzen, Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius (b Lübeck, Sept 4, 1761; d Copenhagen, Jan 28, 1817)

Kunzen, Louise Friederica Ulrica (b Lübeck, Feb 15, 1765; d Ludwigslust, May 4, 1839)

FriedlaenderDL; MatthesonGEPC.A. Martienssen: ‘Holger Danske’, ZIMG, 13 (1911–12), 225–31C. Meyer: Geschichte der Mecklenburg-Schweriner Hofkapelle (Schwerin, 1913)O.G.T. Sonneck: Library of Congress: Catalogue of Opera Librettos Printed before 1800 (Washington DC, 1914/R)H. Rentzow: Die mecklenburgischen Liederkomponisten des 18. Jahrhunderts (Hanover, 1938)B. Friis: Friedrich Aemilius Kunzen, sein Leben und Werk, i: Bis zur Oper ‘Holger Danske’ (1761–1789) (diss., U. of Berlin, 1943)J. Hennings: ‘Adolph Karl Kunzen und seine “Lieder zum unschuldigen Zeitvertreib”’, Mf, 3 (1950), 66–72...

Article

T Herman Keahey, Brigitte Höft, Paul Corneilson, Robert Münster, and Roland Würtz

German family of musicians.

Lebrun [Brün, Le], Ludwig August (b Mannheim, bap. May 2, 1752; d Berlin, Dec 12/15/16, 1790)

Lebrun [née Danzi], Franziska [Francesca] (Dorothea) (b Mannheim, March 24, 1756; d Berlin, May 14, 1791)

Lebrun [Dülken], Sophie (b London, June 20, 1781; d Munich, July 23, 1863)

Lebrun [Stentzsch], Rosine (b Munich, April 29, 1783; d Munich, June 5, 1855)

BrookB; BurneyGN; BurneyH; FétisB; FlorimoN; GerberL; GerberNL; LipowskyBL; MGG1 (R. Münster); SchillingE; WalterG Musikalische Real-Zeitung (Dec 30, 1789; Jan 13, 27, 1790; April 28, 1790)Musikalische Korrespondenz der Teutschen Filarmonischen Gesellschaft (Jan 6, 1791; Feb 16, 1791)C.F.D. Schubart: Ideen zu einer Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Vienna, 1806/R)W.T. Parke: Musical Memoirs (London, 1830)C.F. Pohl: Mozart und Haydn in London (Vienna, 1867/R), ii, 372F. Grandaur: Chronik des königlichen Hof- und Nationaltheaters in München...

Article

Kate Dunlay

(Dwayne )

(b Antigonish, NS, Feb 24, 1975). Canadian fiddler, pianist, composer, and singer. During his early years, he was immersed in the Scottish-derived traditional music of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. He took up the fiddle (which he plays left-handed) at age eight. MacIsaac studied under Stan Chapman along with sister Lisa, cousin Wendy MacIsaac, and neighbor Natalie MacMaster, all of whom are now well-known fiddlers.

In 1992 the teenaged MacIsaac released his first album, Close to the Floor. That same year he was invited to New York by theater director JoAnne Akalaitis to play in one of her husband Philip Glass’ works. Through this connection, MacIsaac eventually met and worked with Paul Simon and his wife Edie Brickell, as well as David Byrne. Over the years Glass has involved MacIsaac in other projects, such as Orion (recorded 2005).

The release of the innovative album HiHow Are You Today...

Article

Daniel Party

(b Mérida, Mexico, Dec 7, 1935). Mexican singer, songwriter, pianist, and arranger. Manzanero began his professional career as a piano accompanist in Mérida in 1951. After relocating to Mexico City in 1957 he worked as accompanist for renowned singers such as Pedro Vargas, Lucho Gatica, and Angélica María. His first major success as a composer came in 1958 when Gatica recorded Manzanero’s bolero “Voy a apagar la luz.” In the following decade he became a highly sought after bolero composer. Artists such as Olga Guillot, Roberto Ledesma, and Los Panchos recorded his songs. In 1967 Manzanero released his first solo album, A mi amorcon mi amor, in which he sings his own songs with an orchestral arrangement.

His use of melodic chromaticism, extended harmonic language, and slower tempi is representative of the jazz-influenced bolero moderno style, first popularized by composers Vicente Garrido and Álvaro Carrillo. In his own late 1960s recordings Manzanero made a conscious attempt at modernizing bolero further by incorporating features of contemporary rock and roll, such as teen-oriented lyrics, and usage of electric musical instruments and drum kit. His contributions played a key role in the development of balada, the genre that eventually replaced bolero as the quintessential Latin American romantic popular music....

Article

Chadwick Jenkins

(b Louisville, KY, Aug 9, 1926). American jazz singer, pianist, organist, and bandleader. She learned to play piano by ear and as a child performed at her father’s church. She studied pipe organ and music theory at Fisk University. By the late 1940s she was performing in Chicago nightclubs as a soloist and as the leader of an all-female group. Her most notable group of the period was the Syncoettes, which included Lula Roberts (formerly of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm) on saxophone. Their first recording, “My Whole Life Through,” was produced and arranged by Eddie Durham and appeared on Premium Records in 1950. McLawler disbanded the Syncoettes in 1952 and began performing solo once again. Wild Bill Davison encouraged her to play Hammond B-3 organ and she soon formed a trio in Brooklyn, New York. There she met her future husband, the violinist Richard Ott, with whom she formed a trio consisting of organ, violin, and drums. This unusual ensemble became very popular, with regular performances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. It recorded the successful album ...

Article

Melanie Feilotter

(b Randolph, VT, Aug 26, 1981). American composer and pianist. Raised in Providence, Rhode Island, he learned piano, sang in an Episcopalian boys’ choir and became enchanted with the English choral tradition, from William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, and Thomas Weelkes to Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten. In high school he studied composition with David Rakowski. Muhly completed a joint program at Columbia University and the Juilliard School in English and composition (BA 2003, MM 2004). Remaining in New York, he worked for Philip Glass as a keyboard player and entered the composer’s scores into computerized form. Choral works have formed a large part of Muhly’s oeuvre and have shown his mastery of the liturgy and his adeptness at incorporating old and new. Commissions in 2005 include Bright Mass with Canons for Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York and I cannot attain unto it, a psalm setting for the Manhattan Choral Ensemble. ...

Article

Nathan D. Gibson

[Aubrey Wilson ]

(b Corrigan, TX, March 29, 1909; d Beaumont, TX, Jan 1, 1967). American country music singer and pianist. Widely regarded as the King of the Hillbilly Piano Players, he drew inspiration from boogie-woogie pianists, blues guitarists, and the prominent western swing scene in East Texas where he grew up, developing his own hard-edged barrelhouse style of honky-tonk piano that bridged the gap between boogie woogie, country music, and rock and roll. Mullican began his music career in the mid-1930s as an instrumentalist with the Blue Ridge Playboys and later joined Cliff Bruner’s Texas Wanderers before forming his own band, the Show Boys, in the mid-1940s. He was signed to King Records in 1946 and scored several major hits for the label between 1947 and 1951. Although most often remembered for his proto-rockabilly singles, by the time rock and roll took over Mullican was considered too old to cash in on the new sound. Made for Decca and Coral in the late-1950s, Mullican’s recordings presented a unique mix of country, rock, blues, pop, and even jazz, but found little commercial appeal. He spent his twilight years recording for smaller independent labels including Starday, Musicor, Spar, and Hall-Way...

Article

Megan E. Hill

(b Osaka, Japan, 1957). Jazz and blues pianist, singer, and composer of Japanese birth. She took piano lessons briefly as a child and was exposed to the blues while growing up in Osaka in the 1960s and 1970s. As a high school student, she formed the Yoko Blues Band with classmates. The band earned some success, winning first prize and a recording contract in a television-sponsored contest. In 1984 she moved to the United States to pursue a jazz and blues career in Chicago. Initially a singer, she studied piano with boogie, blues, and jazz pianist Erwin Helfer. In the early 1990s Noge established the Jazz Me Blues Band, which has played regularly in Chicago since its formation. In addition to Noge on piano and vocals, the ensemble has included Noge’s husband, Clark Dean, on soprano saxophone, saxophonist Jimmy Ellis, trombonist Bill McFarland, and bassist Tatsu Aoki. In addition to playing more conventional jazz and blues, Noge has made a name for herself through the unique compositions she has written for the group, which meld Japanese folk music styles with Chicago blues. Active in the broader Asian American community, she cofounded the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Erik Kjellberg

revised by Lars Westin

[Karl-Erik Albert]

(b Ludvika, Sweden, Oct 4, 1910; d Danderyd, Sweden, Aug 12, 2005). Swedish pianist, singer, and entertainer. His father was a trumpeter, and Norman started on that instrument before taking up piano at the age of 12. He worked professionally from the mid-1930s, was a member of Håkan von Eichwald’s big band, and performed in Seymour Österwall’s orchestra (1939–41); he also played boogie-woogie as an unaccompanied soloist. During World War II he worked with Alice Babs, and from 1943 he led his own groups, with which he made many recordings, including AFN-boogie (1946, Col. DS1610) and Anitra Dance Boogie (1949, Met. 115); the latter aroused harshly expressed anger from the Norwegian Edvard Grieg Foundation, as Norman had turned the famous melody from Grieg’s Peer Gynt into a boogie-woogie piece. In the 1950s Norman was a popular disc jockey, he was active in Sweden and abroad as the leader of a quartet, and he composed for and acted in films. He continued his career as an entertainer, and in the 1990s he resumed his collaboration with Babs for concert tours and recordings; a 1999 performance was released on DVD as ...

Article

(Dianne)

(b New York, Jan 8, 1941). American singer, composer, pianist, and synthesizer player. Her maiden name appears in the Nevada Marriage Index; the New York Birth Index gives January 8, 1941, for Annette D. Coleman. She grew up in California and was self-taught as a pianist. In 1961 she eloped to marry Gary Peacock, and soon afterwards she became associated with Timothy Leary’s psychedelic community at Millbrook, New York. In 1962 she befriended Albert Ayler and accompanied him on his European tour, but she left midway and returned to New York to concentrate on her own music. From 1965 she worked closely with her new partner, Paul Bley, and began writing “environments,” sparsely detailed structures which his band used as a basis for improvisation; Bley’s Ballads (1967–8, ECM 1010) is comprised entirely of her compositions, of which he has recorded more than 30 in total. In ...

Article

Michel Laplace

[Jeannine]

(b Paris, Feb 2, 1926; d Paris, Nov 16, 2010). French pianist, singer, and arranger. She began her career as the leader of a trio and in 1956 recorded as a pianist and singer. Around the same year she joined the Blue Stars, of which she remained a member until 1958; she also recorded with the pianist Christian Chevallier (1959). She is best known for having led the Double Six (1959–66), with which she made recordings (including Dizzy Gillespie et les Double Six, 1963, Phi. 200106); she also appeared in Martin Ritt’s film Paris Blues (1961). Illness curtailed Perrin’s career in 1966. In 1968 she moved to the USA and from 1972 translated books into French. Initially working in science fiction and fantasy, she later translated Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, jazz and film biographies, and the works of John le Carré. The date of her return to France is unknown. Perrin’s style was strongly influenced by the work of King Pleasure and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross....