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Deena Weinstein

Both an American Detroit-based hard rock band and the adopted name of its singer and main creative force Vincent Damon Furnier (b Detroit, MI, 4 Feb 1946). Cooper was the son of a minister and the nephew of the storyteller Damon Runyon, after whom he was named. He moved to Arizona, where he attended high school and formed the Nazz. This band eventually took the name Alice Cooper and developed an over-the-top, theatrical shock-rock style that influenced a host of other rock performers.

With snide and clever lyrics, Alice Cooper’s style was mainly hard rock, but some tunes were psychedelic and others would be suitable in a Broadway musical. After moving to Michigan, the band scored numerous hits in the early 1970s. Many of the songs were rebellious youth-focused anthems, including “Eighteen” (Warner, 1971) and “School’s Out” (Warner, 1972). Others centered on ghoulish menace or mere gothic gruesomeness like “Dead Babies” (Warner, ...

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Lori Burns and Jada Watson

[Myra Ellen]

(b Newton, NC, Aug 22, 1963). American alternative-rock singer-songwriter, pianist, and record producer. She emerged in the early 1990s amid a resurgence of female singer-songwriters and has been one of the few well known alternative-rock artists to use the piano as her primary instrument. She attended the preparatory division of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory but left the school at the age of 11. She began to play her own music in nightclubs at 14, chaperoned by her father, who was a preacher. After Amos moved to Los Angeles in her late teens to pursue a recording career, her band Y Kant Tori Read released a self-titled album (Atl., 1987). Although this was unsuccessful, Atlantic Records retained her six-album contract.

Amos’s debut solo album, Little Earthquakes (Atl., 1992), earned her critical acclaim for her vocal expressivity, pianistic virtuosity, and fearless exploration of a wide range of personal themes, notably female sexuality, personal relationships, religion, sexual violence, and coming of age. The album ...

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Roxanne R. Reed

Gospel ensemble. The Angelic Gospel Singers, or the Angelics, were an African American female gospel quartet based in Philadelphia. Founder, lead singer, and pianist Margaret Allison (1921–2008) a native of McCormick, South Carolina, moved with her family to Philadelphia as a youth. Allison joined the Spiritual Echoes in 1942 and learned vocal arranging, composition, and accompanying techniques. Allison’s family was affiliated with the Pentecostal Church, but stylistically her gospel sound was closer to that of the southern Baptist church and gospel tradition. Allison left the Spiritual Echoes in 1944 to form the Angelics. Joining her were fellow former Spiritual Echoes members Lucille Shird and Ella Mae Norris. The third member was Allison’s sister Josephine MacDowell. The quartet’s sound mimicked that of popular male quartets such as the Fairfield Four and the Dixie Hummingbirds with controlled harmonies and simple accompaniment. The Angelic Gospel Singers commonly performed with the Hummingbirds. As a group, the Angelics performed primarily on the Pentecostal Church circuit. Their rendition of Lucie Campbell’s “Touch Me, Lord Jesus” (...

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Ernie Gallagher

[A-Z]

A Sydney-based experimental music organization founded on about 5 February 1970 by David Ahern. For each concert that it held a letter of the alphabet was assigned; its début was concert ‘A’, a 24-hour concert on 21 February 1970 which included Satie’s Vexations. Other composers whose works were performed included Ahern, Cardew, Cage, Steve Reich and Terry Riley. Its concerts attracted considerable publicity and in one case provoked a riot (in Sydney Town Hall on 16 February 1971). From the larger AZ contingent Ahern formed Teletopa, an electronic music improvisation group, which was disbanded after an overseas tour in 1972. A-Z (as the group was called from 1973) held its last concert in August 1975.

E. Gallagher: ‘The State of the Art’, Music Maker (Oct 1971), 27–8 G. Barnard: Conversation without Feldman (Sydney, 1980) G. Barnard: ‘AZ it Was’, New Music Articles, 7 (1989), 17–20 E. Gallagher: ‘AZ Music’, ...

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Ian Mikyska

Czech chamber orchestra, founded in 1995 by Peter Vrábel. A leading large ensemble for contemporary music in the Czech Republic, the Berg Orchestra has commissioned over 100 new pieces, as well as finding a wide and diverse audience through innovative programming and inter-arts crossover projects.

The orchestra has been crucial in supporting younger generations of Czech composers, both through regular commissions and the NUBERG composition competition. Concerts often take place in unusual venues, such as a cave on the Slovak-Hungarian border, a vacant water cleaning plant, and the interior of the Vítkov National Monument. The list of collaborations the orchestra has undertaken over the years is remarkable, and includes directors such as Heiner Goebbels, Ondřej Havelka, and Jiří Adámek, the set designers Dragan Stojčevski and Antonín Šilar, the dance companies 420PEOPLE, Spitfire Company, and DekkaDancers, institutions like the National Gallery, National Theater, Czech Radio and Television, and a number of festivals both at home and abroad....

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Akitsugu Kawamoto

American hip-hop group. It was formed in 1995 in Los Angeles by will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.; b Inglewood, CA, 15 March 1975; rapping, vocals, various instruments), apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr.; b Angeles City, Philippines, 28 November 1975; rapping, drums), and Taboo (Jaime Luis Gómez; b Los Angeles, CA, 14 July 1975; rapping, keyboard). The group grew out of Atban Klann (1991–5), a Los Angeles-based group signed for a time to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. The Black Eyed Peas developed an approach that fused elements of global pop, jazz-rock, funk, soul, noise music, and a variety of hip-hop styles. Initially considered somewhat of an underground phenomenon, the Black Eyed Peas achieved worldwide commercial success after being joined by Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson; b Hacienda Heights, CA, 27 March 1975; rapping, vocals) in 2003. The group’s third and fourth albums, Elephunk (2003) and Monkey Business (2005...

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Bronco  

Jesús A. Ramos-Kittrell

[Grupo Bronco, El Gigante de América]

Mexican grupera ensemble. Formed by José Guadalupe Esparza, Ramiro Delgado, Javier Villarreal, and José Luis Villarreal in 1979, this band came together at a time when the genre later known as onda grupera was still in development. Influenced by the sounds of cumbia ranchera music, and romantic ballad, the band became a decisive factor in the commercialization of the grupera phenomenon. Not only did Bronco consolidate cowboy clothing as a grupera staple but they also pioneered the use of elaborate staging, fireworks, and gigantic screens in grupera concerts. After seven years of activity Bronco reached international popularity with the hit “Que no quede huella” (1989), and in 1993 starred in Dos mujeres, un camino, a soap opera that became a commercial hit in Latin America. Clothing, concert entertainment, television, and motion pictures brought international recognition for the band in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Ultimately, these elements, accompanying Bronco’s enormous record and ticket sales, marked the mainstream emergence of onda grupera. After announcing their retirement in ...

Article

David Wozniak

[Five Brown Brothers, Six Brown Brothers]

American saxophone ensemble of the vaudeville and musical theater stages that was comprised of Canadian-born brothers. The group began as a saxophone ensemble led by Tom Brown (1882–1950), along with his brothers Percy and Vern; brothers Alec and Fred joined to form the Five Brown Brothers in 1908. William joined in 1912, forming the Six Brown Brothers. Personnel in the ensemble was in constant flux, and included musicians not related to the Browns. The sextet contained two each of alto and tenor saxophones, one baritone saxophone, and one bass saxophone. The Brown Brothers benefited from the “Saxophone Craze” of the 1910s and 20s, for which Tom Brown has claimed the ensemble was responsible. At the height of the Brown Brothers’ popularity, they performed in Broadway musicals and music revues such as Chin Chin (1914). The Brown Brothers’ shows were equal parts musical act and comedy show in which the Brothers often appeared in clown costumes, and leader Tom Brown performed in blackface. In ...

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Raoul F. Camus

(b Port Jefferson, NY, April 15, 1923; d New York, June 26, 1981). American cornet and trumpet player and teacher. Because of damage at birth resulting in a withered right arm, he learned to play on instruments that were specially adapted for left-hand playing. Beginning lessons with his father at age five, by the time he was seven he was already performing as a soloist. At thirteen he studied with Del Staigers, considered one of the world’s great cornet soloists. In 1938 he began lessons with Ned Mahoney, cornet soloist with the Goldman Band, who convinced him to study at the Ernest Williams School of Music. In 1943, at the age of twenty, Burke was invited to join the Goldman Band, playing some 1100 solos over the next 32 years. In addition to the Goldman Band, Burke performed with the Cities Service Band of America (1948–56), the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and the Baltimore SO....

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Sara Velez

revised by Megan E. Hill

International festival of orchestral and chamber music, solo recitals, and staged works, established in 1963 in Aptos, California. It was founded by Lou Harrison, the bassoonist Robert Hughes, and Ted Toews, an instructor at Cabrillo College. Held for two weeks in August in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and at various other locations, such as the Mission San Juan Bautista, the festival is noted for its innovative programming and emphasis on the works of living composers: it has staged at least 120 world premieres and over 60 US premieres. The first music director, Gerhard Samuel, was succeeded by Richard Williams in 1969, Carlos Chávez in 1970, Dennis Russell Davies in 1974, John Adams in 1991, and Marin Alsop in 1992. The directors have stressed making the artists accessible to their audiences through workshops and “Meet the Composer” sessions, open rehearsals, and a composer-in-residence program, in which John Adams, William Bolcom, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Carlos Chávez, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Lou Harrison, Jennifer Higdon, Keith Jarrett, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Pauline Oliveros, Arvo Pärt, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Virgil Thomson, and Joan Tower have participated. The festival orchestra consists of about 65 musicians from leading orchestras in the United States and Canada....

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Greg Schelonka

(Jaguares)

Mexican rock band. Saúl Hernández formed Caifanes in 1988 with Sabo Romo, Alfonso André, and Diego Herrera. Alejandro Marcovich joined later. Caifanes challenged the norms of mainstream Mexican rock music with their dark, somber music and by dressing in black, using makeup, and performing with disheveled hair. The band’s musical style and their appearance was at first a liability, initially preventing them from landing a record deal. They caught a break when they were invited to open for Argentinean singer Miguel Mateos and impressed his producer. This exposure and the need for Mexican labels to sign bands to compete with Argentine and Spanish bands contributed to their signing a recording contract. Their first album quieted previous doubts with strong sales. They have since been recognized as a key component in the Rock en tu Idioma (Rock in Your Language) movement and in Mexican rock not only for their commercial success but also for their musical ability. Caifanes separated in ...

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Eric Lynn Harris

American chamber ensemble. Currently a trio, the ensemble’s members include Amy Knoles (percussion, executive director), Vicki Ray (piano), and Eric Kenneth Malcolm Clark (violin). Former members have included Rand Steiger (conductor), Dorothy Stone (flute), James Rohrig (clarinet), Robin Lorentz (violin), Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cello), Arthur Jarvinen (percussion), Dan Kennedy (percussion), Michael McCandless (piano), Gaylord Mowrey (piano), and Lorna Little (piano).

Founded in 1981, the E.A.R. Unit embraces esoteric instrumentation including diverse groupings of traditional instruments as well as the use of electronics, interactive video, dance, and theatrical collaborations. The Unit has premiered 500 commissioned works by composers including Louis Andriessen (in cooperation with the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress), and John Adams (in cooperation with the McKim Foundation in the Library of Congress).

The Unit tours nationally and internationally performing exclusively new music—or what members refer to as “music of our time.” The ensemble has also been featured on television broadcasts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Annual concerts are performed at the Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater (REDCAT), where the Unit is in residency. The group has also participated extensively in children’s workshops throughout the metropolitan Los Angeles area. With 30 recordings to their credit, the Unit has received significant critical acclaim, ranging from a Letter of Distinction in ...

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Edgardo Díaz Díaz

Puerto Rican dance band. Founded by Cayetano Cesar Concepción Martínez (1909–74), it first performed on 14 June 1947, alongside Noro Morales’ orchestra at the New Yorker Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Its lineup consisted of three trumpets, three saxophones or clarinets, and a rhythm section (piano, bass, timbales, conga, and bongos), as well as a singer who alternated slow boleros with faster guaracha-like genres. Boleros were arranged in a strophic format, with lyrics in the charge of the bolerista, or bolero singer, and Concepción performing solo melodies on trumpet during introductory and inner instrumental sections. Between 1947 and 1954 Joe Valle (1921–80) was the orchestra’s main singer; he was considered to be among Puerto Rico’s most notable boleristas. The orchestra was best known for presenting its ballroom versions of the popular plena to affluent audiences. A lively sound otherwise played by arrabal and rural ...

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Chamber music society. Resident in New York at Alice Tully Hall, the society is a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. It was conceived by William Schuman, the president of Lincoln Center, who appointed the pianist charles Wadsworth as the society’s first artistic director (1969–89). Among the musicians Wadsworth assembled to perform for the opening season (1969–70) were Charles Treger (violin), Walter Trampler (viola), Leslie Parnas (cello), Paula Robison (flute), Leonard Arner (oboe), Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), Loren Glickman (bassoon), and Richard Goode (piano). In 2010, led by artistic directors cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, the society numbered around 35 members, joined by guest artists for its annual concert series, educational programs, and national and international tours. Many concerts are broadcast on radio and television, and in 2007 the society started its own recording label.

Following its premiere performance on 11 September 1969...

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Paul R. Laird

(Dawn)

(b Broken Arrow, OK, July 24, 1968). American singer and actress. Chenoweth began her stage career singing for church functions before earning a BFA in musical theater and a master’s degree in opera performance from Oklahoma City University. Summer stock, beauty pageants, and off-Broadway roles preceded her Broadway debut in Kander and Ebb’s Steel Pier (1997). She portrayed Sally, a role envisioned for her, in the 1999 revival of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (winning a Tony Award) and starred in the play Epic Proportions the same year. Chenoweth has enjoyed a simultaneous television career, appearing in small-screen adaptations of Annie (1999) and The Music Man (2003) and working on series such as the eponymous Kristin, The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Glee, and Good Christian Belles. Her most memorable role on Broadway was Glinda in Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked (2003), a part that she played for two years in workshops before the premiere and which was tailored to her unique talents. Later credits include Cunegonde in a semi-staged version of ...

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Mikaela Minga

(Alb. Ciloja me shokët)

Albanian musical ensemble. It was active in the district of Korça in the first half of the 20th century. It featured a kaval (fyell) player, clarinet (gërnetë), violin, baglama (bakllama), laouto (llautë), and the frame drum (dajre). These types of ensembles were locally recognized as saze. They performed songs with instrumental accompaniment and instrumental materials including dances and instrumental virtuoso pieces locally known as kaba and avaze. Their vocal pieces were close to local rural genres. The leading figure of this group was Vasil Çezmaxhi (1887–1953), known also as Cilo Qorri. He sang and played different instruments, including the bouzouki and the clarinet (gërnetë), and was renowned especially as a virtuoso on the kaval (fyell). Cilo and friends used to play in inns and taverns. They were hired for wedding celebrations, fairs, and festivities. In the early 1930s, the group recorded for the Odeon recording label....