(b Kansas City, MO, Jan 23, 1940). American artist and educator, co-founder in 1989 and artistic director of Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles. He holds a BA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. Working in Los Angeles since 1976 he has built several instruments, based on the hurdy-gurdy principle, which he plays in solo performances and in duets with his wife, Gail Bates. The first was a drone instrument (1976), in which a bow operated by a pendulum moves across a string. The Fuser (1978) uses a similar idea: each note on its two 40-note keyboards operates a ‘finger’ at a different point along the length of one of two strings, which are bowed by treadle-operated, rosined wheels. The hollow tubing of the framework adds to the effect of two dome-shaped resonators, one at each end of the instrument. Two people play the Fuser, which measures about 3.5 × 1 × 1.25 metres. The Converter (prototype ...
(b Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR [now Russia], March 16, 1947). Russian drummer, writer, broadcaster, and educator. He began playing jazz in 1962, and after graduating from the state medical institute in Novosibirsk in 1971 he pursued a dual career as a jazz musician and an obstetrician. In 1975 he established Tvorcheskoye Dhazovoye Ob’yedinenie (Creative Jazz Unity), the first association of musicians and jazz promoters east of the Urals. He performed with Vladimir Tolkachev in the Musical Improvising Trio (1975–9), with Igor Dmitriev in various groups (including, from 1977, Zolotoye Gody Dhaza (Golden Jazz Years), with Vytautas Labutis in the quartet SibLitMash (Siberian-Lithuanian Jazz Machine, 1980s), and with Vagif Sadykhov in another quartet (1998), while also working as a freelance with Vladimir Chekasin, Anatoly Vapirov, Igor Butman, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, and former members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, among others. In 1990 he began to broadcast on radio, and in ...
Dominique-René de Lerma
revised by Karen M. Bryan
(b Meridian, NC, Feb 14, 1894; d Washington, DC, March 19, 1962). American opera director and teacher. She studied at the New England Conservatory and the Chicago Musical College. In 1927 she founded the Cardwell School of Music in Pittsburgh. She later established the Cardwell Dawson Choir, which won prizes at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago (1933–4) and the New York World’s Fair (1939–40). In 1941 she produced Aïda for the meeting in Pittsburgh of the National Association of Negro Musicians (of which she was then president). Her production led to the establishment of the National Negro Opera Company. The group’s official debut (in another performance of Aïda) took place at the Syrian Mosque in Pittsburgh on 30 October 1941. In 1942 the company moved from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Over the next 21 years it performed a repertory that, in addition to ...
(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], Nov 27, 1917; d New York, July 15, 1989). American record producer, brother of Ahmet Ertegun. Like his brother, he moved about internationally on account of his father’s ambassadorial career. After moving to Washington in 1934 he promoted jazz concerts there (1941–4), then settled in Los Angeles, where he and his wife, Marili Morden, organized a band led by Kid Ory; they established the record label Crescent in Hollywood to record the band. Later they operated the Jazzman label (1946–51), which again had a repertory of traditional jazz. In the mid-1940s Ertegun wrote for the journal Clef and was editor of Record Changer. From 1951 to 1954 he lectured in the history of American music at UCLA, and delivered the first courses on the history of jazz given for college credit in any American university; during this period he also worked for the Good Time Jazz and Contemporary labels. In ...
(bap. Aldersgate, London, Feb 26, 1724; d London, April 15, 1764). English amateur musician. ‘In his younger days he was a great beau’, said Hawkins, who is the chief source of information about Immyns. ‘He had been guilty of some indiscretions, which proved an effectual bar to success in his profession, and reduced him to the necessity of becoming a clerk to an attorney in the city’. He cultivated music assiduously, playing the flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord, and had a ‘cracked counter-tenor voice’. As a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, and as a student and copyist to Pepusch, he became familiar with much old music, which he preferred to that of his own day. In 1741 he founded the Madrigal Society, which began as a small group of mechanics and tradesmen experienced in psalmody, meeting at a tavern in Fleet Street. Immyns was ‘both their president and instructor’, and in preparation for the meetings he copied out some 200 madrigals and canons: his MS survives at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The music was confined to madrigals and other old music, by such composers as Ruffo, Lassus, Marenzio, Vecchi and Gesualdo; the English madrigalists were also explored. Immyns copied seven Palestrina motets for the society's use. From these modest beginnings sprang what is now the oldest musical association in existence....
Vera H. Flaig
(b Balandugu, Guinea, West Africa, 1950). Drummer, director, and teacher of Guinean birth. Mamady Keïta began his official apprenticeship with the village djembéfola at the age of eight. By his late teens, he was lead drummer of Ballet D’Joliba. By 22 he became the company’s first drummer to act as artistic director. Upon his retirement from the ballet in 1986, Keïta played briefly for the national ballet in Côte D’Ivoire before settling in Belgium where he founded an international djembé school called Tam Tam Mandingue.
Keïta came to live in the United States in 2004. At his first official workshop as an American resident, Keïta announced: “I spent fifteen years cleaning up the djembé drumming in Europe. Now it is time to do the same in America.” Despite the growing popularity of the djembé, Keïta was surprised by the lack of understanding about its history and music within American drum circles. Keïta, together with six other ...
Bonnie E. Fleming
(b Harrisburg, PA, March 2, 1921; d Westport, CT, Sept 16, 2017). American singing actress, producer, stage director, and teacher. Possessing a wide range of performing skills, she was known for undertaking challenging operatic roles such as Birdie and Regina in Mark Blitzstein’s Regina (1949, 1953, and 1958) and Lizzie in Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden (1965). She worked on Broadway, in light opera, on radio and television, and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Lewis attended Penn State University and was encouraged by its Glee Club director to audition for a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she went on to study with Emilio de Gogorza. After her teacher suddenly left the Institute, Lewis auditioned and made her debut with the Philadelphia Opera Company at the age of 19 in the role of the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. A remarkably quick study, Lewis absorbed music and words in any language almost on the spot, a gift to which she attributed most of her early success. In ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Munich, Oct 24, 1929). American writer. He grew up in Vienna, but left in 1938 and spent the next nine years as a refugee in Denmark and Sweden. After moving to the USA in 1947 he studied history at Brandeis University (1953–6). From 1958 to 1961 he was the New York correspondent for Jazz Journal. He then served as editor of Metronome (1961), Jazz (1962–3), and Down Beat (New York editor, 1964–6, editor 1966–73) magazines; during the 1960s he also produced jazz concerts in New York and for television. In the mid-1970s he held appointments as visiting lecturer in jazz at Brooklyn College and the Peabody Institute, and in 1976 he became director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, in which capacity he has worked as an editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies (from 1982 the Annual Review of Jazz Studies...
Gary W. Kennedy
(b St. Louis, Dec 16, 1947). Clarinetist and educator. As a child he sang in his church choir. His father was a saxophonist, and at around the age of 11 Parran took up the tenor instrument; later he studied saxophone and clarinet at Washington University and Webster College. In the late 1960s he was a founding member of the Black Artists Group and worked in the Human Arts Ensemble. In 1971, after gaining a masters degree in music, he moved to New York, where he joined the big bands of Frank Foster and the arranger James Jabbo Ware and worked extensively as a freelance studio musician; during the same period he received some tuition from George Coleman. Back in St. Louis he recorded two albums with the Human Arts Ensemble (1972–3). Following studies in Africa, Parran settled again in St. Louis (1974) and joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University (located across the river from St. Louis, in Edwardsville, Illinois); he sang in and directed the university’s gospel choir, collaborated with local poets and comedians, formed a trio with the electronic music composer Thomas Hamilton and the classical percussionist Rich O’Donnell, and founded, with the trumpeter Floyd LeFlore, the group Third Circuit ’n’ Spirit, which merged bop, funk, electronic music, and free jazz. In the late 1970s he recorded as a leader (...
(b London, Nov 14, 1871; d London, Oct 11, 1937). English singing teacher and impresario, son of the composer-singer of the same name and brother of the conductor Landon Ronald. After attempting to become a singer he succeeded as a teacher, helping Eleonora Duse, among others. At the request of the manager of the S Carlo opera house in Naples he mounted a Covent Garden season in 1904 (using the S Carlo name) for the soprano Rina Giachetti, supported by some of the finest male singers of the day; however, this failed, as did a 1905 season of operas and plays with Duse. Russell then organized gruelling ‘San Carlo Opera Company’ tours of the USA, first of Don Pasqualewith his mistress, Alice Nielsen, then a more ambitious one with the failing Lillian Nordica and the tenor Florencio Constantino. This led to his being invited by a Boston backer to become the manager of the new Boston Opera House, which he ran with fair success from its opening in ...