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(b New Orleans, LA, Oct 10, 1929; d Hartford, CT, Oct 7, 1992). American jazz drummer and educator. He grew up in a musical family in New Orleans. During the 1950s he was a member of the American Jazz Quintet, which included Ellis Marsalis, Alvin Battiste, Harold Battiste, and, for a time, Ornette Coleman. He also worked irregularly with Coleman between 1949 and 1956 in New Orleans and Los Angeles, toured with Ray Charles in 1957. In 1960 Blackwell moved to New York to become the drummer with Coleman’s quartet at the Five Spot club, a position previously held by Billy Higgins, and both Higgins and Blackwell performed as members of the double quartets on Coleman’s album Free Jazz: a Collective Improvisation (1960, Atl.). He became influential in the emerging free-jazz scene, performing and recording with, among others, Coleman (This is our Music, 1960, Atl., and ...

Article

Charles Conrad

(b Oak Park, IL, May 3, 1954). American composer, conductor, educator, and author. Camphouse is one of the leading composers of works for wind band. He has served since 2006 on the faculty of George Mason University, where he conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches conducting and composition. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University, where his teachers included John Paynter (conducting), Adolph Herseth and Vincent Cichowicz (trumpet), and Alan Stout (composition).

He has composed more than 25 band works, including A Movement for Rosa; Whatsoever Things; Watchman, Tell of the Night; The Shining City; To Build a Fire; and Symphony from Ivy Green for soprano and wind orchestra. He conceived and edited the four-volume series Composers on Composing for Band. Camphouse is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and is a frequent guest conductor and clinician. He served as director of bands at Radford University (...

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John Edward Hasse

(b Chicago, March 23, 1881; d Los Angeles, Aug 17, 1955). American popular pianist, teacher and editor. He studied the piano as a youth and in 1903 opened a teaching studio in Chicago with the advertisement ‘Ragtime Taught in Ten Lessons’. He simplified African-American ragtime piano playing to three essential melodic-rhythmic patterns or ‘movements’, and these became the basis for his teaching method and for a series of instruction books he brought out from 1904. Christensen’s Rag-time Instruction Book for Piano went through numerous revisions and title changes to incorporate early jazz and, eventually, swing styles; one method book remained in print until at least 1955.

Early in his career Christensen began establishing branch schools to teach ragtime piano. By 1914 he had founded 50 branches, and by 1918 he had schools in most major cities in the USA and also some abroad. By 1935 these schools had taught ragtime, popular piano and jazz piano to approximately 500,000 (mostly white) pupils....

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Franya Berkman

[Sangitananda, Turiya]

(b Detroit, MI, Aug 27, 1937; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 12, 2007). American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, composer, and spiritual teacher, wife of john Coltrane and mother of Ravi Coltrane. Raised in a musical family in Detroit, she studied piano between the ages of seven and ten, then percussion at North Eastern High School. A keyboard protégée, she played for gospel choirs during her teen years and attended bebop jam sessions with her half-brother, a bass player, Ernest Farrow (1928–69). Early piano mentors include Barry Harris and Terry Pollard.

From 1956 to 1960, she played organ with the Premieres in Detroit and accompanied the saxophonists Yusef Lateef and Sonny Stitt. In 1960, she married the singer Kenneth “Pancho” Hagood and moved to Paris, where she befriended Bud Powell and gave birth to a daughter, Michelle. After returning to New York, she played with Johnny Griffin and Lucky Thompson. Between ...

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Marcello Piras

(b Westfield, MA, June 17, 1837; d New York, NY, Sept 5, 1903). American banjoist, composer, and teacher. Born into a musical family, which relocated to Elmira, New York, soon after his birth, he began studying piano at six and was a proficient performer at 12. When he was 14 he heard a banjo “in the hands of a colored man” (George Swayne Buckley) who was playing with thumb and first finger; in 1901 he notated those two tunes from memory thus producing what is possibly the oldest known document of African American banjo music. Despite family opposition, Converse devised a pioneering academic technique for the five-string instrument, both absorbing the “stroke” approach, inherited from slaves, and adapting the fingerpicking method of classical guitar. By 1853 he had started concertizing, touring with minstrel companies, and teaching. He edited Thomas Briggs’s Banjo Instructor (Boston, 1855) and may have had a hand in Phil Rice’s ...

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Bill Bennett

(b Marietta, PA, July 14, 1929; d Boston, MA, Feb 23, 1996). American jazz drummer and educator. He studied with Charles Alden in Boston in the early 1950s while working with many local jazz groups, and toured with Lionel Hampton in 1953. In 1957 he joined the percussion faculty of the Berklee School of Music, beginning an association that lasted until 1975. In addition to his academic commitments and continuing work in the Boston area, Dawson remained active as a touring and recording drummer; his most frequent and productive collaboration during the early 1960s was with the pianist Jaki Byard and the saxophonist Booker Ervin, with whom he made an excellent series of albums for Prestige between 1963 and 1965. From 1968 to 1976 he was a member of Dave Brubeck’s quartet with which he recorded an outstanding solo on a new version of “Take Five” (1972...

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Carl B. Hancock

(Thomas )

(b Hollywood, CA, April 13, 1945; d Arlington, VA, June 29, 1979). American Rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, and leader of the group Little Feat.

Georgia, University of. State university founded in Athens in 1785. The university’s current enrollment exceeds 34,000 students. The Department of Music was established in 1928 with the hiring of alumnus Hugh Hodgson as the first professor of music, and was later named the Hodgson School of Music. The first degree programs were established between 1930 and 1941. Currently the school offers the BA and BM in composition, education, therapy, performance, and theory, and a certificate program in music business. Graduate degrees include the MA, MM, MME, EdS, DMA, EdD, and PhD in musicology, composition, conducting, performance, music literature, education, theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology. In 2009 enrollment reached 450 students (300 undergraduates, 150 graduate students) guided by a faculty of 65. The Music Library holds over 130,000 titles, including the archival collections of Guido Adler, ...

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Michael Ullman

(Robert)

(b Jamaica, NY, Aug 20, 1941). American jazz drummer and educator. He played conga drums as a child and only started using sticks when he was 17; later he studied tabla with Wasantha Singh. He became known in the mid-1960s through his appearances with Giuseppi Logan and with the New York Art Quartet at the “October Revolution” jazz concert series (1964). In 1966 he made two albums at a duet concert at Yale with the pianist Don Pullen. In the mid-1970s he performed with the drummers Andrew Cyrille and Rashied Ali in a series of concerts entitled “Dialogue of the Drums,” and established a practice of performing in African American neighborhoods. One of the most flamboyant avant-garde drummers of the 1960s, Graves has been influenced by Indian and African approaches to percussion, and has shown interest in performing non-Western percussion instruments. He has often appeared in groups composed solely of drummers. In ...

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Noal Cohen

[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]

(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...

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Luca Cerchiari

(Richard)

( Dallas, TX, Feb 3, 1933). American alto saxophonist and music educator. He was raised in California, where he studied clarinet before switching to alto saxophone. He has also played tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, piano, oboe, and percussion. Handy started his career performing in San Francisco with the blues musicians Lowell Fulson and Pee Wee Crayton and the jazz musicians Freddie Redd, Pat Martino, and Bobby Hutcherson. He then moved in 1958 to New York, where he formed his own group and worked with the pianist Randy Weston and the bass player and composer Charles Mingus (including the album Mingus Ah Um, 1959, Col.). In 1959 he recorded his first album, for Roulette. After studying music at San Francisco State College (BA 1963), he had a parallel career as a teacher, working at San Francisco State University and Conservatory, the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University, among other institutions. He rejoined Mingus in ...