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Johs Bergh

(b Trondheim, Norway, June 19, 1952). Norwegian singer, lyricist, and actor. She lived for a period in England before settling in Oslo in 1976. A member of the soul group Chipahua (1979–85), she also worked through much of the 1980s in successful local jazz-rock groups led by the guitarist Jon Eberson. She moved into more contempo-rary modern jazz singing around 1986, led her own quartet from 1990 to 1995 (comprising Nils Petter Molvær, Django Bates, and Jon Christensen), and in 1994 formed a duo with the keyboard player Jens Bugge Wesseltoft. From 1989 she has appeared as an actress and singer in many plays with music by jazz composers. For the Molde International Jazz Festival in 1993 she was commissioned to write a large work, which was entitled Pagan Pilgrimage; part of it was later recorded as Exile.

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E. Ron Horton

[Herbert; Jeffrey, Herbert; Balentino, Umberto; the Bronze Buckaroo]

(b Detroit, MI, Sept 24, 1916). American jazz vocalist and actor. He began his professional singing career at 14 and then worked with such well-known jazz musicians as Erskine Tate, Earl Hines, and Blanche Calloway. In the late 1930s he made five films as America’s first black singing cowboy starting with Harlem on the Prairie (1937). He conceived the idea of making the movie himself in a conscious effort to create a character that could be a model for brown-skinned children. Jeffries, who identified his mother as Irish and his father as mixed-race Sicilian, was almost denied the role because his physical features were considered by some not to be African American enough, although he proudly identified himself as black in both professional and social terms. He successfully fought for the role, which earned him the nickname the Bronze Buckaroo, and his films appealed to a more widespread audience than expected. Jeffries worked with the Duke Ellington Orchestra from ...