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Article

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...

Article

John Cowley and Howard Rye

(b Porus, Jamaica, June 2, 1903; d 2000). Jamaican tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He was a bandsman with the West India Regiment at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and later returned to Great Britain and played in dance bands there and in Europe until the early 1930s. He led his own band in London in 1931–2 and in November 1932 relocated to the Netherlands with the pianist and singer Lily Jemmott, Welsh born of mixed African American and Bajun parentage, whose stage name was “Spadie Lee.” They remained in Europe until 1935. From 1936 he played in London with West Indian jazz musicians, including Leslie Thompson’s Emperors of Jazz (1936), and in 1937 he led his own band. In the 1940s he worked mainly with Cyril Blake and also with Jiver Hutchinson (1944–5). Appleton’s clarinet playing may be heard on Muscat Ramble...

Article

Brian W. Pritchard

Member of Ashley family

(b ?London, ?1734; d London, March 14, 1805). English bassoonist and conductor. He was first bassoon at Covent Garden Theatre, and became more widely known after his success as assistant conductor to Joah Bates at the 1784 Commemoration of Handel in Westminster Abbey. Charles Burney (An Account of the Musical Performances … in Commemoration of Handel; London, 1785) records that the ‘unwearied zeal and diligence’ of ‘Mr John Ashly of the Guards … were constantly employed with such intelligence and success, as greatly facilitated the advancement of the plan’. According to Burney he was also the ‘Mr Ashley’ who played the then novel double bassoon at these celebrations. Ashley’s four sons (see below) also took part in the commemoration and later in 1784 the whole family first appeared in the provinces at the Hereford meeting of the Three Choirs; they took part in subsequent Handel commemorations and from ...

Article

(b Welwyn Garden City, England, April 17, 1930; d Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, March 2, 2021). English trombonist and bandleader. He began studying violin while evacuated to Royston, England, in 1943 during World War II, starting a sizeable collection of jazz and blues records at the same time. In 1946, in London, he took up the trombone. He formed his first amateur band in 1948. In 1951, while studying to become an actuary, he led this band, which included Dickie Hawdon, on its first issued recordings, modeled on King Oliver’s 1920s work. Barber’s early bands often included Alexis Korner, who shared his interest in the blues. In September 1951 he abandoned accountancy to study trombone and double bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In 1952 he formed his first professional band, with Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, and Lonnie Donegan, to play jazz in the New Orleans revival style. Ken Colyer replaced Halcox and assumed titular leadership of the group. After touring to Denmark and recording there and in the UK, the band split from Colyer in ...

Article

Jeffrey Holmes

[Randal Edward ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, Nov 27, 1945). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, arranger, and bandleader, brother of Michael Brecker. After graduating from Indiana University in 1966, he moved to New York, where he played with Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, and the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. A versatile musician, he worked with Blood, Sweat and Tears, performing on their debut album, played hard bop and soul jazz with the Horace Silver Quintet and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and helped form the fusion group Dreams, which included his brother Michael, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie. During the 1970s he worked with Silver, Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder, the Plastic Ono Super Band, and Cobham. He and Michael also performed and recorded (six albums) as the Brecker Brothers, garnering much critical acclaim. He continued to lead his own group into the 1980s and also recorded and toured with virtuoso performers Jaco Pastorious and Stanley Clarke. A reunion of the Brecker Brothers in ...

Article

J.M. Thomson

(b Dallas, TX, Jan 26, 1922; d Suffern, NY, Nov 4, 1999). American recorder player, editor, teacher, and conductor. His early musical experience included playing the trumpet in small jazz bands and in Broadway pit bands and arranging music for shows in New York. While studying with erich Katz at the New York College of Music he developed an interest in early music. He learned to play the recorder, crumhorn, sackbut, and viola da gamba and arranged and directed medieval and Renaissance music. He edited music for the American Recorder Society, which published several of his compositions, and later was general editor of the series Music for Recorders (Associated Music Publishers). He took part in the debut of the New York Pro Musica Antiqua under Noah Greenberg in 1953 and rejoined them from 1960 until 1970; during this time he became director of the instrumental consort and assistant director of the Renaissance band. He toured internationally with them and played on many recordings. In ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Foster)

(b New Orleans, June 30, 1925; d New Orleans, March 18, 2004). American trumpeter and bandleader. He performed in New Orleans with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band (1938) and Papa Celestin (c1941), and after serving in a navy band returned there in October 1945 to play bop and swing with various local bands and accompany popular singers. In 1953 he left the city to join Lionel Hampton, and from late that year worked with the rhythm-and-blues musician Lloyd Price for six months, after which he toured the USA and Europe with Lionel Hampton (1954–6); while in Paris he recorded with Mezz Mezzrow (1955). He joined Ray Charles (for a short time in 1957) and made a brief return to Hampton’s band before working again with Price (c1958–60) and Charles (c1960–62). Following another brief period with Hampton he was a member of Count Basie’s big band (...

Article

Gary Galván

(b Richmond, VA, May 7, 1957). American conductor, educator, and flutist. Karen Deal studied flute at Oral Roberts University (BMus 1980) and orchestral conducting at Virginia Commonwealth University (MM 1982). She made her European conducting debut in 1984 with the Pro Arte Orchestra in Vienna, Austria, while pursuing postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darnstellende Kunst. During coursework toward a DMA in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Deal studied with Praul Vermel on an Aspen Music Festival Fellowship (1988) and won the National Repertory Orchestra Biennial Conducting Competition. She was the founding director for the Sinfonia Concertante in Maryland in 1988 and the Chesapeake Youth Symphony in 1990 while serving as Associate Conductor for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and teaching music history and flute at Loyola College.

After study with gustav Meier , Leonard Slatkin, and Leon Fleisher at the Tanglewood Music Festival in ...

Article

Mark E. Perry

(b San Juan, PR, March 26, 1854; d San Juan, PR, April 4, 1934). Puerto Rican composer, flutist, scholar, and conductor. His earliest achievements came as a flutist; he studied flute with Italian-born Rosario Aruti. Chiefly self-taught as a composer, he was influenced musically by his father, a cellist and double bass player, and Felipe Gutiérrez Espinosa, an established Puerto Rican composer of sacred music. In 1877 Dueño Colón received the gold medal from the Ateneo Puertorriqueño for the symphonic work La amistad (1877). In 1880 he formed a municipal band in Bayamón and shortly afterwards served as the flutist for the chapel of San Juan Cathedral. Awards for his compositions continued, including a silver medal at the Pan American Exposition, held in Buffalo in 1901, for Canciones escolares, a collection of original songs as well as arrangements for Puerto Rican school children. In addition to showing substantial interest in European masterworks, he embarked on the scholarly study of the Puerto Rican ...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b New York, NY, Jan 5, 1956). American conductor, composer, and clarinetist. After growing up in Harlem and the South Bronx, he attended the Eastman School (BA 1978), Queens College (MA 1979), and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (PhD 1982). He served as assistant professor of music at Carleton College (1982–6), then became the principal guest conductor at the Dance Theatre of Harlem (1986–99) and the resident conductor at the Detroit SO (1987–99). From 1994 to 2001 he worked as assistant to veteran conductor Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic. He served as music director of the Detroit SO and the Dearborn SO (1987–94), Symphony Nova Scotia (1996–9), and the Annapolis SO (1998–2003). He was principal conductor of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago (2003–9), and in 2009 he became the principal conductor of the Louisville Ballet. He has conducted the major American orchestras and has been a prominent international guest conductor, leading ensembles such as the Royal Ballet of London, the Madrid SO, and the Warsaw Sinfonia. He has been a regular visitor to South Africa, where he has performed with that country’s major orchestras, including the KwaZulu-Natal PO. Dunner was the first American winner of the Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition in ...

Article

Digby Fairweather

revised by Simon Adams and Barry Kernfeld

(b London, Oct 15, 1934; d May 2, 2016). English trumpeter, flugelhorn player, and bandleader. After studying the trumpet with Tommy McQuater and others, he played and recorded with Cy Laurie (December 1954 – spring 1956), an RAF band, and the trombonist Graham Stewart (from c September 1957), with whom he remained after his demobilization in February 1958. In April 1959 he joined Terry Lightfoot, under whose leadership he toured with Kid Ory and Henry “Red” Allen. From 1961 he led his own band, which performed and recorded into the 1990s; it acted as the support band for Edmond Hall and Albert Nicholas on their tours of England in 1966 and 1967 respectively, as well as on tours by the blues singer Howlin’ Wolf and others, and broadcast on many BBC radio shows. It may be seen, with Wingy Manone as guest soloist, on the television show “Jazz 625” (...

Article

Stephen Montague

revised by Kelly Hiser

(Arthur )

(b Kankakee, IL, March 22, 1942; d San Rafael, CA, Sept 25, 1996). American composer, trombonist, conductor, and double bassist. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied trombone with Robert Gray and composition with Kenneth Gaburo, herbert Brün , and salvatore Martirano (BM in performance 1965). He studied jazz improvisation with lee Konitz and electronic music with richard b. Hervig at the University of Iowa (1970–71). He was a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble (1961–2) and the Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players (1963–6) and was an associate artist at the University of Iowa Center for New Music and New Performing Arts (1969–74). From 1974 to 1984 English lived in Europe, where he performed widely as a soloist and with jazz and new music ensembles, at festivals, and on radio. He collaborated with his wife Candace Natvig, a singer and violinist; in ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Aramovich)

(b Moscow, Aug 15, 1934; d Krasnodar, Russia, Jan 11, 2010). Russian alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader of Armenian descent. Formerly known as Garanyan, he began to spell his surname Garanian at some point in the 1990s. He taught himself to play saxophone and led an amateur octet (1954–7) which later evolved into the youth orchestra of the Art Workers’ Central House in Moscow. For the next eight years he was a principal soloist in and arranger for Oleg Lundstrem’s orchestra (1958–66); he also led a quartet with the guitarist Nikolay Gromin, performing at festivals in Tallinn, Prague, and Moscow. He was a member of the Kontsertny Estradny Orkestr Tsentral’novo TV i Vsesoyuznovo Radio (‘Concert variety orchestra of the central TV and all-union radio’) from 1966 to 1970, and after studying at the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory (until 1969) he led the orchestra from ...

Article

Trudi Ann Wright

(b Summit, MS, July 5, 1913; d Petersburg, VA, April 16, 1989). American conductor, clarinetist, and educator. He gained his musical training at Oberlin College, Northwestern University, and Columbia University, where he received his doctorate in music education. After graduation he became a faculty member at Bennett College and then at Lincoln University in Missouri. From 1947 he spent 29 years working at Virginia State College (from 1979, Virginia State University), where he directed instrumental music. He led military, symphonic, and marching bands, which toured and won recognition throughout North America and Europe. He was also active as a band clinician, guest conductor, and workshop consultant. Along with his work as an educator, Gatlin maintained a performance career as a clarinetist, appearing with numerous US bands and orchestras including the St. Louis SO.

In 1960 Gatlin co-founded the Intercollegiate Music Association with Evelyn Johnson and Albert Grauer which in the early 2010s was continuing to “enrich and enhance the development of the students” in its historically black member institutions. After his retirement from Virginia State in ...

Article

Charles Fox

revised by Digby Fairweather and Simon Adams

[Michael Clement Irving]

(b Salisbury, Rhodesia [now Harare, Zimbabwe], Sept 25, 1937). Rhodesian arranger, composer, bandleader, and trombonist. He learned piano from the age of seven, took up trombone when he was 17, and in 1959 went to the USA to study at the Berklee School of Music, the Lenox (Massachusetts) School of Jazz, the Boston Conservatory (BM 1963), and the Tanglewood Summer School, where his teachers included Aaron Copland and Gunther Schuller; he often worked with Gary Burton during this period. After settling in Britain in 1965 he was a trombonist in Graham Collier’s band (spring 1966 – c1967) and John Dankworth’s orchestra (1967–8, early 1970s). Gibbs swiftly established a reputation as a composer and arranger, and wrote music for radio, television, and films as well as for a number of his own bands (1968–74). He also worked as a studio musician and performed with radio big bands in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. By the late 1960s he was receiving widespread critical acclaim (his album ...

Article

Clarrie Henley and Barry Kernfeld

[Dad]

(b Dublin, Feb 26, 1907; d London, Nov 13, 2005). English tenor and bass saxophonist and bandleader. He grew up in London from the age of four, and studied piano, reed instruments, harmony, and counterpoint at the London College of Music (1921). He played with a jazz band, the Metronomes (1926–8), and the bands of the clarinetist Jack Padbury and others (late 1920s and early 1930s). After performing and recording with the bandleader Roy Fox, in 1939 he joined the violinist Oscar Rabin and formed, within Rabin’s orchestra, his own band, the Pieces of Eight; its recordings included Gold’s compositions Doubloon (1946), The Parade of the Pieces (1949), and Long John Stomp (1950). It continued to perform regularly into the 1960s, but from 1957 Gold gave its leadership over to his brother, the saxophonist Laurie Gold. He rejoined the band in the 1960s, and performed with it occasionally thereafter. Gold continued to work as a freelance throughout this period, notably with the bandleaders Geraldo (...

Article

Adriano Mazzoletti

[Gorni, Kramer]

(b Rivarolo Mantovano, Mantova, Italy, July 22, 1913; d Milan, Oct 26, 1995). Italian accordionist, double bass player, and bandleader. He studied accordion with his father, a professional folk musician, and double bass at the A. Boito Conservatory in Parma. For his entire professional career, he inverted his birth name, Kramer Gorni, instead working as Gorni Kramer. Having played double bass in symphony orchestras and accordion in dance groups, from 1934 he led a jazz-oriented quintet that at first included Romero Alvaro; it made several recordings, including After you’ve gone (1938, Fonit 7890) and Tiger Rag (1940, Fonit 8357). Gorni toured the UK with the accordionist Wolmer Beltrami (1948) and played double bass with Armando Trovajoli and Gil Cuppini at the Paris Jazz Fair (1949), the first international jazz festival to be held in Paris. In 1952 he ended his career in jazz to write show music and lead a television orchestra....

Article

(b Wetteren, Belgium, Oct 1, 1920; d Forest, Brussels, Belgium, Jan 31, 2008). Belgian trumpeter, baritone saxophonist, and bandleader. Goyens started on piano as a youth and took up trumpet in 1936. He played with Jean Omer in 1940 and 1944 and with the pianist Vicky Thunus in 1945, and recorded Quartier Louise (1942, Hot H3) with the tenor saxophonist Jean Tany. From 1946 to 1958 he led his own band, but it made no recordings; among its sidemen were Don Byas, Kenny Clarke, Lucky Thompson, Bobby Jaspar, and Francy Boland. After 1958 Goyens worked with the bandleader Eddie De Latte and toured Spain and the USA with an international orchestra. In the 1980s and early 1990s he was a soloist in and arranger for the Brussels Big Band; he may be heard on Millenium Blues on their album Mille et un airs de Bruxelles (1980, Vogue ASVB2010). In the early 1990s he also made festival appearances with his Blue Note quintet....

Article

Gerhard Conrad

(b Svatonovice u Pisku, nr Trutnov, Bohemia [now Czech Republic], June 26, 1914; d Prague, June 23, 2001). Czech clarinetist, tenor saxophonist, and bandleader. He studied violin from the age of six, formed a school band in Tabor, and accompanied silent films for 15 years. He formed another school band in Prague, then joined Jan Šima’s Gramoklub Orchestra as an alto saxophonist and clarinetist. He recorded with the singer E.F. Burian from 1936, played in the Blue Music Orchestra with Kamil Behounek, and worked with Karel Vlach from 1938. He formed a big band in 1945 that played highly adventurous arrangements by Alex Fried. From 1949 he worked with various groups and from 1964 toured Finland, Poland, Austria, Germany, Canada, and Colombia. He performed on cruise ships and assembled an orchestra for the film Rytmus 1934 (1980), directed by Jaroslav Balik. Habart’s style is well represented by his recording of Irving Berlin’s ...

Article

Howard Rye

(George W.)

(b nr Osceola, KY, March 10, 1893; d Proviso, IL, Oct 22, 1941). American violinist, alto saxophonist, and bandleader. His brothers Curtis, Otis, and Sidney played banjo, and the brothers worked together around Glasgow until 1912, when they moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Hayes joined Earl McDonald’s Louisville Jug Band in early 1914 and began to act as a booker for the Louisville jug-band players. He left McDonald in 1920 and formed his own group. Up to 1927, when they quarreled, he and McDonald sometimes merged their bands, notably for the 1926 Dixieland Jug Blowers recordings. His own Louisville Stompers, which had Hense Grundy on trombone and Cal Smith on guitar, played a beguiling mix of African-American string-band music and conventional jazz. In 1929 the band recorded with Earl Hines, including Dance Hall Shuffle/Hey! I am Blue (1929, Vic. 38557). Hayes returned to jug-band instrumentation in 1931 and continued to work in this format until his death, but did not record after ...