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Ivan Čavlović

(b Zvornik, Dec 17, 1906; d Sarajevo, 1990). Bosnian-Herzegovinian composer, conductor, and concert singer. He started his musical career as a choirboy in the choir Sveta Cecilija at Sarajevo Cathedral. He studied solo-singing in the class of Nina Mastergazi and Leo Pešek at the Music School in Sarajevo. In 1927 he studied solo-singing in the class of Milan Reizer at the Academy of Music in Zagreb. He was a self-taught conductor and composer. From 1928 he conducted amateur choirs in Sarajevo, with which he performed most of his own compositions. He attained great success with the Croatian choir Trebević. After World War II he was an employee of Zavod za zaštitu malih autorskih prava (the ‘Institute for Protection of Authors’ Rights’) and a conductor of the choir Vaso Miskin Crni.

Demetar set harmonizations of folk tunes and based compositions on Bosnian folklore. His harmonic language is traditional but with a certain freedom in the elaboration of extended tonal harmony. He particularly enriched Bosnian-Herzegovinian choral literature....

Article

Harry B. Soria

(b Kaumana, HI, Sept 26, 1901; d Honolulu, HI, Feb 1, 1972). American singer, musician, bandleader, composer, and recording artist. Kinney’s career stretched over 57 years, and he achieved the greatest popularity of any Hawaiian singer-musician during his era. Sent to school in Utah, Kinney and his brothers toured as a Hawaiian band. In 1920, his mother died, and he was summoned home to Hawaii, where he continued to hone his musical skills as an accomplished tenor balladeer with exceptional diction and clarity. In 1925, he toured California as a member of Charles E. King’s “Prince of Hawaii” cast. Returning home to Hawaii, he joined the David Burrows Trio and was named the most popular male singer in Hawaii at that time. For the rest of his life, he alternated between touring the continental United States and performing in Hawaii. He was engaged for four years at The Hawaiian Room at Hotel Lexington in New York City. In a ...

Article

Robert Paul Kolt

(b Summit, NJ, Nov 18, 1915, d New York, NY, Nov 7, 1998). American conductor, composer, arranger, and vocalist. He attended the State of New Jersey Manual Training School (Bordentown, NJ), the Institute of Musical Arts (now Juilliard), and Columbia University Teachers College. He also studied voice privately with Sergei Radamsky, conducting with pierre Monteux , and composition with Henry Cowell and Hall Johnson. De Paur composed and arranged music as a member of the Hall Johnson Choir, with whom he sang and served as assistant conductor (1932–6). He then became musical director of the Negro Unit of the Federal Theater Project in New York (1936–9), with which he conducted, composed, and arranged music for various Orson Welles productions, including Macbeth. In 1942 he enlisted in the US Army Air Force and became choral director of the play Winged Victory (1943–6). From this emerged the De Paur Infantry Chorus which, under contract with Columbia Artists Management and Columbia Records, toured extensively until ...

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

Rich Kienzle

[Kuczynski, Julius Frank Anthony ]

(b Milwaukee, WI, Feb 18, 1914; d Louisville, KY, March 7, 2000). American country music accordionist, bandleader, songwriter, and vocalist. His musical career was inspired by his father, John, a Polish American who led a local polka band. At 15, he began learning accordion and, in 1930, met popular bandleader Wayne King who suggested the youth take the surname “King” in the interest of simplicity. His first band, the King’s Jesters, played both country music and polkas. In 1934, the group filled in for Gene Autry’s band when Autry, then a star of WLS’s National Barn Dance, toured Wisconsin. King joined Autry (who dubbed him “Pee Wee”) in Louisville until the singer left to launch his Hollywood film career. He briefly led a Louisville band known as the Log Cabin Boys, then in 1937 organized the Golden West Cowboys, who joined the Grand Ole Opry with a distinctive, progressive repertoire blending country, pop, polkas, waltzes, and western swing. From ...

Article

Anthony S. Lis

(b Honolulu, HI, Dec 15, 1904; d New York, NY, June 17, 1951). American bandleader, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He came to California in the early 1920s, where he found work in Hollywood playing “atmospheric music” during the filming of Hoot Gibson’s silent movies. He also played rhythm guitar in at least four different trios with Hawaiian steel guitar virtuoso Sol Hoopii, and likely recorded 55 Columbia sides between 1926 and 1928 as a member of Hoopii’s Novelty Trio. McIntire recorded with his own quartet, the Hawaiians, beginning in 1935; he cultivated a repertoire including reworked Hawaiian standards (Queen Kapiolani’s “He Manao He Aloha”) and newly written popular-style tunes with a Hawaiian feel (Margarita Lane and Johnny Noble’s “That’s the Hawaiian in Me”). In early 1937 McIntire accompanied Bing Crosby on six sides for Decca, including Crosby’s top-ten hits “Sweet Leilani,” “Blue Hawaii,” and “Sail Along Silv’ry Moon.” In fall ...

Article

Eddy Determeyer

[Melvin James ]

(b Battle Creek, MI, Dec 17, 1910; d New York, NY, May 28, 1988). American arranger, composer, producer, bandleader, trumpeter, and singer. Growing up as an African American musician in Zanesville, Ohio, Oliver was self taught as a trumpeter and arranger. After playing in territory bands in and around Zanesville and Columbus, he became a member of Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra in 1933. His charts for the Lunceford band were distinguished by contrasts, crescendos, and unexpected melodic variations, thereby setting new standards in big band swing and close-harmony singing. His use of two-beat rhythms also set his arrangements apart.

In 1939 Oliver was hired by the trombonist Tommy Dorsey and turned his band into one of the hardest swinging and most sophisticated ensembles of the early 1940s. In 1946 he started his own big band. During the late 1940s and 1950s he mainly did studio work, as a music director for the labels Decca, Bethlehem, and Jubilee. He continued to lead big bands and smaller ensembles, recycling his old Lunceford and Dorsey successes and performing new arrangements. Along with Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson, Oliver must be rated one of the top arrangers of the swing era and infused almost every chart with vigor and surprise....

Article

John-Carlos Perea

[James Gilbert ]

(b Salem, OR, June 18, 1941; d Portland, OR, Feb 10, 1992). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, singer, bandleader, and composer. Of Native American (Creek and Kaw) heritage, he was raised in Oregon and Oklahoma. Early musical influences included tap dance, big band jazz, Southern Plains powwow music and dance, and peyote music. Pepper moved to New York in 1964 and joined the Free Spirits (1966), an early fusion jazz ensemble featuring Larry Coryell and Bob Moses. After forming the group Everything is Everything (1967) with former members of Free Spirits Chris Hills and Columbus Baker, Pepper recorded “Witchi Tai To,” a composition fusing a peyote song with jazz, rock, and country influences. Released on Everything is Everything featuring Chris Hills (Vanguard Apostolic, 1969), “Witchi Tai To” peaked at number 69 on the Billboard pop charts. By 2011 it had been covered by at least 90 artists ranging from Brewer & Shipley, Jan Garbarek, and Oregon to the Paul Winter Consort and Joy Harjo. Pepper released four albums as a leader: ...

Article

Chip Henderson

[Masawwir, Damu Mustafa Abdul ]

(b St. Matthews, SC, Feb 2, 1942). American electric guitarist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist. Ulmer grew up in a musical family. By the age of four he began to learn the guitar from his father. From the ages of seven to thirteen he played guitar and sang with his father’s gospel group, the Southern Sons. Ulmer moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 and began to immerse himself in the city’s rhythm and blues scene. From 1959 to 1964 Ulmer performed with the Del Vikings, the Savoys, and Jewel Brenner’s Swing Kings. In 1964 he moved to Columbus, Ohio. From 1964 to 1967 he studied jazz and performed with organist Hank Marr. Ulmer relocated to Detroit, Michigan, in 1967 and began his tenure with soul-jazz organist “Big” John Patton. During his time in Detroit (1967–71) Ulmer became interested in contemporary rock styles, including the music and tonal innovations of guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Soon after Ulmer moved to New York City in ...

Article

J. Michele Edwards

(b Brainerd, MN, June 15, 1962). American Conductor, pianist, singer, composer, and arranger. As the son of a Lutheran minister, he became a church organist at an early age and also studied piano and trumpet. In addition to music degrees from St. Olaf College (BA, piano, 1984), the University of Illinois (MM, choral conducting, 1985), and Yale University (MMA 1990, DMA, choral conducting, 1994), Johnson studied piano at Aspen Music School (1982) and the Juilliard School (1985) and conducting with Helmuth Rilling at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, as a recipient of a National Arts Fellowship. While director of choral activities at the University of Texas, Austin (1990–2001), he took a leave to serve as artistic director of Chanticleer (1998), but soon returned to focus on his conducting. As founder and artistic director of the critically acclaimed Conspirare (known as the New Texas Festival, ...