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Michael Ethen

(Guy)

(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1978 he began what became a long and successful songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance, with whom he created most songs recorded under his name up to 1987, as well as songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Kiss, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and the Canadian groups Prism, BTO, and Loverboy.

Adams’ albums characteristically alternate between down-tempo piano ballads and straight-ahead rock numbers. His third solo album, Cuts like a Knife (1983) launched him to the status of an international celebrity; its singles included the ballad “Straight from the Heart” and the anthem “Cuts like a Knife,” which both featured for weeks on magazine charts and music television. The next album, ...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

Article

Kevin E. Mooney

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...

Article

[Aznavourian, Varenagh]

(b Paris, May 22, 1924). French singer and songwriter. His parents were Armenian immigrants, and he began acting as a child. In 1941 he wrote the lyrics to the song J'ai bu, with music by Pierre Roche, and which brought the songwriting team to the attention of Edith Piaf. Aznavour subsequently wrote songs for Piaf (Il pleut, 1949), Gilbert Bécaud (Donne-moi, 1952) and Juliette Greco (Je hais les dimanches, 1950). As a singer, he toured with Piaf, but major success only came with Sur ma vie (1955). Such reflective and romantic songs as The Old-Fashioned Way and She (1974) brought him international acclaim, while numbers such as Hier encore (translated as Yesterday when I was Young) typify his introspective and melancholic style. His operetta, Monsieur Carnaval, was performed in Paris in 1965, and his film appearances include François Truffaut's ...

Article

Craig A. Lockard

(b Vienna, Austria, May 2, 1924). American and Israeli actor and singer. Born into a Jewish family, he spent his youth in Austria. Following the Nazi occupation the Bikel family escaped to Palestine, where he made his stage debut in 1943. Moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he began his acting career in 1948 in A Streetcar Named Desire. In 1954 he immigrated to the United States and, in 1961, became a naturalized American. He made his concert debut at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, in 1956 with a program of folk songs. In 1959 he was cast as Georg von Trapp in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. During his long career Bikel has appeared in numerous films, plays, and musicals, from the lead in Zorba to over 2000 performances as the penniless milkman Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof...

Article

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...

Article

Alison E. Arnold

The term Bollywood is used variously to refer to the mainstream Indian film industry, to Bombay (now Mumbai) Hindi cinema, to Hindi cinema from the 1990s onward, and most recently to an Indian culture industry encompassing Hindi films and related commercial products distributed via satellite and cable TV, radio, DVD and video, CD and MP3, and Internet websites. Some Indian film producers and actors consider the term pejorative, in referencing a Hollywood clone, but it gained currency when Indian popular cinema began to attract international attention. The deregulation of India’s media industries in the 1990s encouraged Bollywood filmmakers to reach out to the large overseas Indian diasporic market.

The commercial Hindi film is typically a three-hour-long melodrama mixing romance, comedy, action, intrigue, and several elaborate song and dance sequences. Since the early 1990s Bollywood films have featured elements indicative of the new global orientation, including a greater use of English words and phrases, and foreign locations employed not merely as exotic song and dance contexts but as homelands in which Indian nationals reside. Producer Yash Chopra’s ...

Article

Buzuq  

Scheherazade Qassim Hassan

Long-necked lute, probably of late Ottoman origin, introduced during the 20th century to urban Arab centres in Iraq, Syria, and the Lebanon. The soundbox resembles that of the classical ‘ūd. The neck has 24 movable frets, and the two or three strings are tuned in 4ths. Originally used by Kurds, Turkmen, and some Roma musicians, it is now used also by Arabs to accompany songs and for classical Arab ...

Article

Meredith Oyen

Cantopop, Cantonese-language popular music, and Mandopop, Mandarin-language popular music, are the products of encounters and exchanges between Chinese, Japanese, and American music traditions. Both can be heard in Chinese communities and businesses in the United States today.

Mandopop dates back to the 1920s in the dance halls of jazz-age Shanghai. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the industry moved to Hong Kong, but by the 1960s, the growth of the Mandarin language movement in Taiwan helped Taipei become the new capital of Mandopop. The American military presence in Taiwan in the 1950s and 60s introduced new genres of American popular music to local artists, including rock and R&B.

While Mandopop moved to Taipei, Cantopop emerged in Hong Kong in the 1970s as a localized response to popular American, Japanese, and Mandarin-language music. As the date for the British handover of the colony to China neared, increasing numbers of Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada and the United States, bringing along their musical practices and tastes. The growth of the Hong Kong film industry and the internationalization of its audience also contributed to the spread of both Mandopop and Cantopop to North America and around the world....

Article

Chutney  

Peter Manuel

(from Hindi catnī)

A local and popular music and dance form of East Indian culture in the Caribbean. In the Indo-Caribbean communities of Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad the term chutney traditionally denoted light, fast and often ribald songs in Bhojpuri, a dialect of Hindi, set to variants of the four-beat tāla known in India as Kaharvā. Chutney songs were most typically performed, often with lewd dancing, by women in sexually segregated contexts at weddings and childbirth festivities. In Trinidad in the mid-1980s chutney, as performed by a solo vocalist with harmonium, dāṇḍtāl (a metal rod struck with a clapper) and ḍholak (barrel drum), became widely popular as a social music and dance genre, enjoyed by both men and women at large public fêtes and weddings. In the next decade a hybrid genre called chutney-soca emerged which incorporated dance-band instruments, modern calypso rhythms and mixed Hindi and English lyrics. Although controversial, chutney-soca has become popular among many Creoles as well as Indo-Caribbeans and its appeal has spread to the Indo-Caribbean communities in North America....

Article

Jesse Jarnow

(b Manhattan, NY, Oct 3, 1959). American music industry executive of Israeli descent. He helped bring hip hop to mainstream American culture and beyond. After graduating from college he landed a job at the semi-independent label Def Jam, where he worked for its co-founder Russell Simmons. In 1988 Cohen became president of the label, taking over from Rick Rubin, who had launched the company in his New York University dorm room and found success with the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Def Jam helped transform rap from specialized urban music to global pop. Although it had long been distributed by major labels, Cohen oversaw its integration with a series of larger companies and subsequently expanded its scope, especially after it merged with the Universal Music Group in 1999. As Island Def Jam with Cohen as president, the company ran other labels dedicated to gangsta rap (Murder, Inc.) and alternative country music (Lost Highway) and absorbed Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Under Cohen, Island Def Jam doubled its earnings. He moved to the Warner Music Group in ...

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Article

Fanny  

Jessica L. Brown

Rock band. It was formed as Wild Honey in California by Filipina American twin sisters June (guitar) and Jean (bass) Millington, with Alice de Buhr (drums) and Nickey Barclay (keyboard). The group became one of the first all-female bands to be signed to a major record label, Warner Bros.’ Reprise Records (1969). They also became the first all-female band to release their album from a major label and have a top 40 hit.

Their self-titled debut album (1970) featured a cover of Cream’s song “Badge” along with other songs written by band members. Fanny began touring and subsequently released Charity Ball (1971), Fanny Hill (1972), and Mother’s Pride (1973). During this active period of their career, the band members performed as studio musicians and arranged music for Barbra Streisand’s self-titled album. The band received mixed critical reviews for their deliberately desexualized performances, a stark contrast to other contemporary female acts, who capitalized on their sexuality....

Article

Mary Talusan

(b Philippines, June 20, 1967). Keyboardist and guitarist of Filipino birth. He immigrated to the United States and grew up in California. He studied piano from early childhood and became proficient on several instruments, including keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. In 1988, he joined the industrial band Mortal Wish, which changed their name to Mortal in 1992 when they were signed. Before the band broke up in 1996, Fontamillas released seven albums with them. He then formed the industrial rock band Fold Zandura with friend Jyro Xhan. After their breakup in 1999, he joined the alternative rock band Switchfoot as a keyboard player. By 2000, Fontamillas began to tour with Switchfoot shortly before the release of their third CD Learning to Breathe, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. In 2002, he reunited with Mortal and released the album Nu-En-Jin featuring Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman as guest vocalist. Fontamillas became an official member of Switchfoot in ...

Article

Rick Mattingly

(b Bombay, Oct 30, 1951). Indian jazz percussionist. He studied classical tabla from the age of five and also imitated the rhythms of American pop music. After being exposed to jazz as a teenager, Gurtu assembled a makeshift drumset from a variety of percussion instruments and began working in Bombay with jazz bands, playing briefly with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano. After a trip to America in 1977 with Indian pop singer Asha Bhoshle, Gurtu settled in Hamburg, Germany, and worked with jazz cornettist Don Cherry, guitarist Phillip Catherine, violinist Lakshminarana Shankar and bass player Barre Phillips. In 1982 he taught at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, and then toured Europe with the percussionist Nana Vasconcelos. In 1984 he joined the group world music Oregon, then in 1988 toured with his own group, which included Vasconcelos and Mariano. He next worked for four years with the jazz guitarist John McLaughlin, whose high-energy jazz trio was the ideal showcase for Gurtu. His set-up combines an American jazz drumset with the Indian ...

Article

Dominique-René de Lerma

(b Baltimore, MD, c1840; d Surabaya [now in Indonesia], 1902). American minstrel-troupe manager. He became one of the most successful African American managers of minstrel groups. In about 1865 he organized the Original Georgia Minstrels, probably named after a 15-member troupe of former slaves called the Georgia Minstrels, established in April of that year by W.H. Lee in Macon. Hicks’s troupe began touring in the Northeast and the West and, within three years, included a 13-piece brass band. In 1870 Hicks and some of his members joined with Sam Hague’s Great American Slave Troupe (formerly Lee’s group) for a tour of the British Isles. In July of the following year there was a disagreement and Hicks returned to the United States. He sold his company to Charles Callender in 1872 but continued to work as its manager. From 1877 to 1880 he toured Australia with a new troupe, also called the Georgia Minstrels. Returning once more to the United States, he worked with various groups including Hicks and Kersands’ Minstrels, McIntosh and A.D. Sawyer’s Colored Minstrels, and Callender’s Minstrels, with whom he presented the Callender Consolidated Minstrel Festival in the Grand Opera House, New York, in ...

Article

Loren Kajikawa

Jazz fusion group. Founded in 1974 by the multi-instrumentalist Dan Kuramoto and the koto player June Okida Kuramoto, Hiroshima took its name from one of two Japanese cities to suffer atomic attack during World War II. It consists of third-generation Japanese Americans and first rose to popularity in the late 1970s amid the Asian American movement, which also provided the impetus for the development of Asian American jazz. Hiroshima’s early sound mixed Japanese instrumentation, notably koto and bamboo flutes, with a blend of electric jazz, funk, and disco soul. In addition to playing a variety of saxophones, flutes, and keyboards, Dan Kuramoto has served as the group’s main arranger and songwriter.

Although Hiroshima’s membership and style have shifted over the years, its most consistent feature has been June Kuramoto’s virtuosic koto playing. At the age of six, she began lessons with the koto sensei Kazue Kudo. Eventually mastering the instrument’s traditional repertoire, she also developed her own approach to improvising....

Article

Loren Kajikawa

(b Chicago, IL, Feb 27, 1955; d Los Angeles, CA, June 3, 2000). American jazz pianist, shamisen player, and composer. Influenced by avant-garde jazz, he incorporated Japanese scales, rhythms, and instrumentation into an improvisatory setting and was integral to the development of Asian American jazz. Released through Asian Improv and Soul Note, much of his music was inspired by the Japanese American experience. His albums Manzanar Voices (1989, Asian Improv) and Poston Sonata (1992, Asian Improv) take their names from internment camps where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.

Although born in Chicago, where his parents had relocated after leaving the internment camps, Horiuchi spent most of his childhood in Southern California. He attended the University of California at Riverside and San Diego, pursuing a career in mathematics before dropping out to devote himself to music and politics. His first recordings, including Next Step...

Article

Wendy F. Hsu

(b Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 15, 1973). Rock musician and songwriter of Taiwanese birth. Hsu moved to Houston, Texas, with his family in 1989. His brother, Kevin Hsu, was a pop star in Taiwan who signed to Golden Point/BMG. Self-taught in guitar, keyboards, voice, and drums, Hsu formed in 2001 the alternative rock band Johnny Hi-Fi, which has toured extensively in the United States and Asia. As a songwriter Hsu writes songs in both English and Mandarin Chinese. He has collaborated with Taiwanese recording artists and producers and has had success overseas. His song titled “Don’t Go,” performed by Richie Ren, reached the top 10 pop music chart in Taiwan. Hsu also has toured with Taiwanese rock musician Chang Chen-Yue on his US tour in 2004.

In 2004 Hsu began organizing the Asian Rock Fest in recognition of Asian American Heritage Month in May. An annual festival series, Asian Rock Fest has brought together Asian American artists and showcased rock music talent including Eyes Like Knives, Kite Operations, Carol Bui, Burning Tree Project, Festizio, Vudoo Soul, Jack Tung, and Johnny Hi-Fi. The first Asian Rock Fest took place at The Pianos in New York. The festival continued to feature Asian American musicians after Hsu’s relocation to the west coast in ...

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Wendy F. Hsu

Rock band. Formed at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, the Hsu-nami is an erhu progressive rock band fronted by Taiwanese American erhu player and composer Jack Hsu. Hsu was classically trained in violin. His erhu training included intensive summer lessons in Nanjing, China. The rest of the group is composed of Tony Aichele (guitar), Brent Bergholm (guitar), Dana Goldberg (keyboard), John Manna (drums), and Derril Sellers (bass). The Hsu-nami integrates an amplified “erhu,” a two-string spike fiddle used in Chinese classical and folk music, into an instrumental progressive rock sound. Their music is marked by virtuosic erhu melodies and shredding solos, in place of vocals, intertwined with heavy guitar riffs, funky rhythms, and metal-driven rock drumming. Part of the new-fusion rock movement, the group recasts the sound of its 1960s and 1970s roots.

The band has played alongside international and major recording artists such as Chthonic, Yellowcard, Bowling for Soup, Nightmare of You, and The Parlor Mob. Their music was also featured during the ...