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(b London, England, Dec 10, 1913; d Weehawken, NJ, Nov 30, 1988). American jazz patron of British birth. She was born a member of the British aristocracy, and a child of the English branch of the Rothschild family. As a young woman she married a French Baron, and shortly thereafter moved to New York. In the United States Pannonica (known as Nica) developed close relationships with a number of leading jazz musicians and became a major patron of jazz. She became known to musicians as a sympathetic ear and source of material support. In addition to financial help, she used her social position to intercede on behalf of musicians facing legal problems. Most famously, in 1957 she was instrumental in securing the return of Thelonious Monk’s license to perform in Manhattan nightclubs after it had been suspended due to questionable drug-related charges. Not simply a dilettante, Nica became a key member of New York’s jazz world. Her commitment to the musicians she knew famously led her to care for Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk through each one’s death. The Baroness’s importance in jazz can be seen in the many songs dedicated to her, including Monk’s “Pannonica,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” Sonny Clark’s “Nica,” and Kenny Drew’s “Blues for Nica.”...

Article

John Koegel

(b San Francisco, CA, Nov 7, 1875; d Flintridge, CA, Dec 25, 1954). American folklorist, writer, lecturer, music patron, and singer. Born into a wealthy family (her father James Hague was a prominent geologist and mining engineer), she used her inheritance to support her research into Latin American music, particularly Mexican American and Mexican folksong. Prior to moving to Pasadena, California, in 1920, she lived in New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She studied music privately in France and Italy, was a member of the New York Oratorio Society, and directed church choirs in New York before she began work as a folklorist and folksinger by the early 1910s (she gave guitar-accompanied folksong recitals in that decade). Hague published numerous collections and studies of Mexican American, Mexican, and other Latin American folksongs; translated (with Marion Leffingwell) Julián Ribera y Tarragó’s Historia de la música árabe medieval y su influencia en la española...

Article

Paul C. Echols

revised by Esther R. Crookshank

(b New York, NY, March 8, 1839; d Poland Springs, ME, July 10, 1909). American philanthropist, activist, composer, and hymnal compiler. She was the daughter of lay Methodist evangelists Phoebe Palmer (1807–74), considered the founder of the American Holiness movement, and medical doctor Walter Palmer. The younger Phoebe began composing hymns and songs as a child; two of her earliest tunes, set to hymn texts by her mother, were published in Joseph Hillman’s revival song collection, The Revivalist (1868). At 16 she married Joseph F. Knapp, later founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York. As a wealthy society woman in New York, she entertained dignitaries, including four American presidents, at evening musicales held regularly in her home; a trained singer, she often performed at these events. She also hosted religious leaders, social reformers including Harriet Beecher Stowe, and female gospel hymn writers such as Fanny Crosby, with whom she formed a close friendship. In the late 1860s, Knapp wrote her most successful piece, the tune “Assurance,” to Crosby’s text “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” It was circulated internationally after Ira D. Sankey included it in ...