(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 ...
Terence J. O’Grady
revised by Bryan Proksch
Vasil S. Tole
(b Përmet, Albania, May 2, 1929; d Përmet, Jan 26, 2014). Albanian folk music performer. A clarinettist and vocalist, nicknamed ‘Përmeti’s nightingale’, founder of the instrumental iso-polyphonic group (saze ensemble) in the Southern town of Përmet (1944–2004). At a young age, he showed a special ability to design and make instruments. He was taught to play the lute and the clarinet by the saze masters in the city of Korçë. Then his family returned to Përmet, where he joined the saze of Vangjel Leskoviku (1944). At Përmet, he organized his own saze and participated in the Folk Music Festival in Tirane (1952), where he was awarded the First Prize for the best folk clarinettist. His saze was composed of a clarinet, two lutes, two accordions, a frame drum, and a violin. The saze played instruments and sang at the same time. He is a composer of songs, clarinet ...
(b New York, NY, Oct 14, 1967). American composer and clarinetist. A native of New York City, Bermel as a youth studied clarinet with Ben Armato. He studied composition with Michael Tenzer at Yale University (BA 1989) and with William Bolcom and william hugh Albright at the University of Michigan (DMA 1998). Later he worked with Louis Andriessen as a Fulbright Fellow in Amsterdam and Henri Dutilleux at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also studied ethnomusicology and orchestration with André Hajdu in Jerusalem; Lobi xylophone (gyil) in Ghana; Thracian folk style with Nikola Iliev in Bulgaria; and caxixi in Brazil with Julio Góes.
In 1998 Bermel premiered his own clarinet concerto, Voices, in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under Tan Dun. He has since performed it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as in London and Beijing. He was the founding clarinetist of Music from Copland House, the resident ensemble at Copland’s New York home, which has been restored as a creative center for American music. He also performs with Brooklyn-based band Peace by Piece, for which he serves as bandleader, singer, and songwriter. The group has released two albums, Peace by Piece (...
David Wild and Barry Kernfeld
Member of Marsalis family
(b Breaux Bridge, LA, Aug 26, 1960). Tenor and soprano saxophonist, son of Ellis Marsalis. He played alto saxophone for seven years before changing to the tenor instrument. While attending Southern University, Louisiana, for a year, he took lessons from Alvin Batiste; he then studied for several years at the Berklee College of Music. After his graduation he replaced Bobby Watson in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (including his brother Wynton Marsalis), with which he remained for five months, working primarily as an alto saxophonist, and he toured with Clark Terry’s orchestra. He spent three years as a member of Wynton’s quintet (1982–5), during which time he also worked with John Hicks’s quintet (1982–4), toured with the quintet V.S.O.P. II (1983), recorded with Ray Drummond, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bobby Hutcherson (all 1984), and played in Miles Davis's group (...
[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 ...
(b Gladewater, TX, Dec 3, 1938; d Elyria, OH, Feb 8, 2006). American oboist, baroque oboist, viola da gambist, and educator. He earned a diploma in 1961 from the Curtis Institute where he studied with john de Lancie . Caldwell served as principal oboist of the National SO (NSO) from 1965–66 and 1968–1971, and was principal oboist of the short-lived Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1966–68. He played with the Puerto Rico Symphony and the Casals Festival Orchestra, and was a frequent performer at the Marlboro Music Festival. In 1971, Caldwell joined the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he trained many of the profession’s leading oboists, including Alex Klein, former principal oboist of the Chicago SO. Caldwell’s pedagogy was unusual, as he rarely mentioned the oboe. His students learned to play as a result of the musical demands of the phrase.
As a chamber musician, he was a member of the Soni Ventorum Quintet, the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, and the Oberlin Woodwind Quintet. While playing in the NSO in the late 1960s, he also became interested in the viola da gamba and studied with noted teacher August Wenzinger. He became an accomplished viol player as well as a celebrated baroque oboist, earning a reputation as a leading scholar in historical performance. With his wife, cellist and viola da gambist Catharina Meints, he co-founded the Baroque Performance Institute, the first American summer school for historical performance, in ...
Joel A. Treybig
(b Cortland, NY, Oct 19, 1920). American He began the trumpet at ten, played in his father’s town band, and studied with Ernest S(amuel) Williams. After serving as a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan (1940), he left in 1941 to join the Goldman Band as soloist and also was contracted as first trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He served in the military from 1942 to 1946, playing with the army band at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and working in a special service unit at Fort Slocum, New York that performed concerts and recorded music for films and radio broadcasts for military personnel. In 1946, he became associate first trumpet/third trumpet under Arturo Toscanini for the NBC Symphony. He also worked as a studio musician in every available medium. He served as soloist for the Band of America, the Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), and the premiere of Husa’s ...
Richard H. Perry
(b Rhinelander, WI, July 12, 1945). American tuba player. He began playing the tuba under his father’s guidance. After grade school, he studied with Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago SO. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM 1966, MM, PhD 1971). He taught at the University of Toronto, where he met Stuart Laughton, William Phillips, Graeme Page, and Eugene Watts. In 1970 they formed the ensemble that became known the following year as the Canadian Brass, the, a renowned professional quintet famous for its entertaining performances of a wide range of music written and arranged specifically for them. With this group he has made more than 80 CDs and DVDs and has performed in nearly every major venue in the world. In 1988 Hartwick College awarded him an honorary doctorate of music and in 2000 McMaster University gave him an honorary doctorate of letters. He is also the president of Opening Day Entertainment Group and Canadian Brass Publishing, Inc., the group’s recording label and music publisher. In ...
(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 ...
[Blue Butterfly ]
(b Madison, WI, June 4, 1959). American composer and flutist of Mohican descent (enrolled member of Stockbridge Band of Mohican Nation). He earned degrees in music composition from Northern Illinois University (BM 1981) and Arizona State University (MM 1990) and a separate degree in American Indian Religious Studies from Arizona State University (MA 1992). Davids merges his classical training in Western music with Native American elements that have been nurtured by many visits to Stockbridge Munsee Reservation, where his father was raised; in many of his pieces, native percussion can be heard alongside European instruments to create a colorful musical tapestry. Davids is also a concert flutist, famous for performing on his signature handmade quartz crystal flutes, as well as standard flute and native wooden flutes. He has written commissioned works for the National Symphony Orchestra’s 60th anniversary, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, Chanticleer, Zeitgeist, the Kronos Quartet, the Miró String Quartet, and the Joffrey Ballet. He has received awards from In-Vision, Meet the Composer, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Jerome Foundation, among others. In ...