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Article

Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[William, Jr. ]

(b Philadelphia, March 27, 1927; d Middletown, CT, Sept 21, 1989). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, composer, and teacher, brother of Kenny Barron. He first studied piano with his mother from the age of nine, but four years later changed to soprano saxophone and then to the tenor instrument. At the age of 17 he toured with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, after which he served as a musician in the army (1943–6), where his fellow bandsmen included Randy Weston and Ernie Henry. He then played tenor saxophone in Philadelphia with Red Garland, Jimmy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones; Dexter Gordon influenced his early style. In 1958 he moved to New York. There he performed and in 1959 recorded with Cecil Taylor, recorded with Jones in 1959–60, and co-led the group the Barron Brothers; he also formed a group with Ted Curson which in 1964 toured Europe, where it frequently broadcast on radio and television and recorded in Paris. He appeared with Taylor’s free-jazz group at the Newport Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Kenneth ]

(b Philadelphia, June 9, 1943). American pianist, composer, leader, and teacher, brother of Bill Barron. He learned piano from the age of 12 and with the help of his brother secured an engagement when he was 15 with a rhythm-and-blues orchestra led by Mel Melvin; while in high school he also played double bass and tuba. Having worked with Philly Joe Jones (1959) and Jimmy Heath, and in Detroit with Yusef Lateef (1960), in 1961 he moved to New York and began appearing regularly at the Five Spot with James Moody, on whose recommendation he was engaged by Dizzy Gillespie; from 1962 to 1966 he toured Europe and North America with Gillespie. Barron then played briefly with Stanley Turrentine and was a member of several groups led by Freddie Hubbard (1967–9); by 1970 his compositions had been recorded by Gillespie, Hubbard, and Moody. He was again with Lateef from ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Mikhaylovich )

(b Moscow, June 9, 1944). Russian pianist, teacher, and composer. From 1962 to 1966 he led a trio at the Vserossiyskoye Gastrol’no-kontsertnoye Ob’yedinenie (All-Russian society for guest performances). He played with Aleksey Kozlov in the big band VIO-66 (the Vocal Instrumental Orchestra, directed by the composer Yuri Saulsky) and also in a quartet drawn from the band which recorded at a festival in Moscow in 1967. Thereafter he worked in a duo with German Luk’yanov (1969–70) and led various groups ranging in size from quartet to sextet (1969–91); these groups made several recordings, among them Pered zakhodom solntsa (1985, Mel. C60 21873003) and Live at the Village Gate (1988, Mobile Fidelity 861). Bril performed at festivals and concerts in Europe, Indonesia, Cuba, and the USA. From 1991 he led the group New Generation, which included his twin sons, the saxophonists Dmitry and Alexander (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Ray )

(b Hernando, MS, March 28, 1954). American pianist and composer. He grew up in Memphis in a musical family and played drums, baritone horn, and trumpet, on which he won several awards in his youth, before taking up piano. At Memphis State University (1972–5) he focused on piano and was encouraged to explore jazz by his classmate James Williams. He then worked locally before replacing Williams in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1981). While with Blakey he toured internationally and appeared in the video Jazz at the Smithsonian:Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1982). In 1982 rheumatoid arthritis forced Brown to leave the group. From 1983 to 1985 he was a member of the faculty at the Berklee College of Music, and in 1988 he began teaching jazz history and leading student ensembles at the University of Tennessee. Although his activities have been limited by arthritis, he has occasionally worked with Freddie Hubbard, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and the ...

Article

Stan Britt

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Dumfries, Scotland, April 21, 1933; d London, Feb 25, 2009). English trumpeter, flugelhorn player, bandleader, composer, writer, and teacher, brother of Mike Carr. His mother played ukulele and banjo. Carr grew up in northeast England, where he took piano lessons from the age of 12 and taught himself trumpet from 1950. After studying at King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne (1952–60, degree, English literature, diploma, education) he served in the army (1956–8), then played with his brother in a band, the Emcee Five (1960 – August 1962). He briefly joined Don Rendell in November 1962 and, after recovering from illness, formed a long-lived quintet with Rendell from 1963 to July 1969; during this period he also worked with Joe Harriott (recording in 1969), Don Byas, and John McLaughlin. In September 1969 he formed his own band, Nucleus, which rapidly became recognized internationally for its experiments with jazz-rock. As a result of its performance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Ed Hazell

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Wallace )

(b Fort Worth, Sept 24, 1929; d Inglewood, CA, March 31, 1991). American clarinetist, alto saxophon-ist, composer, leader, and teacher. He studied clarinet and alto saxophone and in the late 1940s played with Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett. After attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri (BA 1949), and the University of Colorado (MA 1956) he taught in public schools in Fort Worth (1949–61) and Los Angeles (1961–82). In 1964 he formed the New Art Jazz Ensemble in Los Angeles with Bobby Bradford and the following year he conducted orchestral music by Coleman at UCLA. From 1974 he played clarinet exclusively; he was a member of the Little Big Horn workshop with Bradford, James Newton, and others (1976–8), ran a jazz venue, Rudolph’s, and in 1983 formed the Wind College, a school for improvisation, with Newton, Red Callender, and Charles Owens. During this period he was the subject of a film documentary, ...

Article

Dave Gelly

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b South Bend, IN, Nov 28, 1932). Tenor saxophonist, composer, and teacher . He joined Woody Herman’s orchestra in late 1953, interrupting his music studies at Indiana University, and toured with the group until summer 1954; his solo on I Love Paris (1953, Mars 1002) attracted considerable critical acclaim. He recorded in Paris for the Vogue label (1954) and in San Francisco as a leader and with Mel Lewis (both 1956), then worked as a freelance on the West Coast, playing for a brief period with Stan Kenton. His work with college bands led to his becoming a prominent teacher of jazz, and in 1960 he was appointed to the first of several university posts. Coker has written a number of books about jazz and is one of the most highly regarded writers within the field of jazz education; he has also composed for student bands. In the mid-1980s he recorded two new albums as a leader, ...

Article

André Barbera

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Norfolk, VA, July 17, 1926; d New York, May 18, 1984). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, and teacher, father of Keith Copeland. He studied classical trumpet and in his teens played with groups in Brooklyn. After working in New York with Cecil Scott at the Savoy Ballroom (1945) and Chris Columbus at Small’s Paradise (1946) he toured with Mercer Ellington (1947–8) and the Savoy Sultans (i) and recorded with Lucky Thompson (1949). During the early 1950s he worked only part-time as a trumpeter, for Andy Kirk, Lucky Millinder, Sy Oliver, and others. He was featured in the film Kiss her Goodbye (1959), and played bop and swing with Lionel Hampton (recording in August 1956), Oscar Pettiford’s orchestra (at Birdland in 1957), Specs Powell’s orchestra (recording in 1957), Randy Weston (1957–8), and Gigi Gryce and Johnny Richards (both ...

Article

Frederick A. Beck

[Lyle F. ]

(b Delevan, NY, July 12, 1918). American trumpeter, arranger, composer, and teacher. He trained to become a teacher at Fredonia (New York) College (1937–9) and later in life studied with the composers Paul Creston (1947–8) and Stefan Wolpe (1950–53) and the trumpeters Benny Baker (also 1950–53) and Murray Karpilosky (1955–8). In 1938–9 he worked with the clarinetist and saxophonist Dick Stabile and then joined Red Norvo, with whom his brother Arthur had previously played trombone. After leaving Norvo (1941) Dedrick performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill (1941–2), played briefly with Ray McKinley (1946), then returned to Thornhill (1946–7); his imaginative arrangement of ’Deed I do may be heard on the album The Uncollected Claude Thornhill (1947, Hindsight 108). In the 1950s and 1960s he worked as a freelance trumpeter, arranger, and composer in studios in New York, during which time he wrote music for Don Elliott, Maxine Sullivan, and Lee Wiley, among others; he performed with Urbie Green (...

Article

Mark Miller

(Arthur )

(b Moose Jaw, Canada, Oct 27, 1918; d Toronto, Jan 16, 1981). Canadian theorist, teacher, and composer. He led dance bands and played trumpet in Toronto (1939–49) before he ended his career as a performer for reasons of health and turned to teaching (1950). He wrote texts on arranging, harmony, counterpoint, 12-tone music, and melody (New York, 1965–76) that became widely used, and he taught many leading jazz musicians in Canada in the 1950s and 1960s. He also composed several works in the third-stream idiom, of which he was an enthusiastic advocate; these include Collage no.3 and Song and Dance, both of which were recorded by Duke Ellington with the Ron Collier Orchestra on Duke Ellington: North of the Border (1967, Decca 75069). His Three Entertainments for Saxophone Quartet (1969) was recorded by the New York Saxophone Quartet. (EMC2...

Article

Géza Gábor Simon

[Gárdonyi, László ]

(b Budapest, July 3, 1956). Hungarian pianist, composer, and teacher. He studied classical music, jazz, and ethnic music at the Béla Bartók Musical Training College in Budapest between 1976 and 1979 and first recorded with Zbigniew Namysłowski in 1983. From 1983 to 1985 he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston; as a member of the quartet Forward Motion with Tommy Smith, Terje Gewelt, and Ian Froman, he recorded at the college in 1984 and in Oslo in 1985. Gardony won first prize at the Great American Piano Competition in 1987 and joined the Berklee faculty that same year. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe, performing at major festivals and concert series, and he has played with such musicians as Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick, Garrison Fewell, Phil Wilson, Tony Lakatos, and the percussionist George Jinda. A video clip from his unaccompanied solo concert in Budapest in ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(L’vovich )

(b Moscow, Jan 25, 1938). Russian reed player, composer, and teacher. He studied clarinet at a music school in Leningrad (graduating in 1956) but taught himself to play saxophone and flute. From 1953 to 1955 he worked with the accordionist and saxophonist Stanislav Pozhlakov, and in 1957 he formed a sextet that included the violinist Arkady Liskovich, the tenor saxophonist Valery Milevsky, and the pianist Teimuraz Kukholev. The sextet was enlarged soon afterwards and in 1958 formed the basis of an orchestra led by Yosif Vainstein, for whom Golstain played lead alto saxophone, served as principal soloist, and wrote arrangements; at the same time he led a quintet with Konstantin Nosov consisting of members of Vainstein’s orchestra. Later he toured with a big band led by Ady Rosner (1966–7), played under the bandleader Vadim Ludvikovsky in the orchestra of Vsesoyuznoye Radio (All-union radio) (1968–73...

Article

John Shand

(b Melbourne, Australia, July 28, 1958). Australian drummer, percussionist, teacher, bandleader, and composer. He began playing professionally at the age of 12 and made his recording début with Brian Brown in 1976. The following year he was a founder of the fusion band Pyramid, following the breakup of which, in 1983, he moved to Sydney. There he worked with Don Burrows and taught at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music until 1993 (it became the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1990). He played with Lee Konitz in 1989 and worked with the pianist Mark Isaacs. In 1991 he formed AtmaSphere as a vehicle for his keen interest both in superimposed time signatures and in the meditative applications of music. It also provided an outlet for his cleverly conceived, virtuoso, and often comical solo playing. In 1995, with the pianist Kevin Hunt and Steve Hunter, he formed the trio Tree, and from ...

Article

Jessica Bissett Perea

(b New York, NY, Jan 29, 1939; d Tijuana, Mexico, Oct 25, 2000). American jazz singer, lyricist, composer–improviser, multidisciplinary artist, and educator. During her 40-year career she performed internationally and recorded more than 40 albums, working with such artists as Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Enrico Rava, Andrew Cyrille, Roland Kirk, Jimmy Lyons, Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Cecil Taylor, and Reggie Workman. Her vocal style reflects the influence of early mainstream jazz vocalists, including Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, and the intellectualism of postwar avant-garde jazz and experimental music. Starting in the 1960s Lee forged a new path in multidisciplinary performance that fused the aesthetics of modern dance, vocal improvisation and sound poetry (intonation, non-verbal utterances, and vocalizations), and visual arts (paintings, slide projections, and film). In the 1970s she established Earthforms Rituals, a nonprofit corporation that promoted concerts and educational programs. She also completed an MA in education at New York University in ...

Article

William F. Lee III

[Henry J.]

(b Baltimore, Sept 27, 1927; d Baltimore, Sept 17, 2001). American composer, arranger, and baritone saxophonist. He studied at the US Navy School of Music, the College of William & Mary, Peabody Conservatory, the Catholic University of America, and Towson State University. In 1953 he joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra, for which he also wrote arrangements; he composed for Sal Salvador (1960–62), Don Ellis (from 1966), and Kenton (from 1969), and his Opus for Overextended Jazz Ensemble was given its première by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1971; his compositions are often characterized by unusual meters. Levy joined the faculty of Towson State in 1968 and was one of the original members of Kenton’s jazz workshops. Under his leadership the Towson State jazz band won competitions and, from 1976, recorded an album every year.

(selective list)

Article

Brad Madson and Mikki Matteson

(b Forest Lake, MN, Jan 12, 1929; d Jacksonville, FL, June 24, 1993). American euphonium player, educator, conductor, composer, and arranger. He learned piano from the age of three and brass instruments from the age of five. In 1946 he performed on euphonium and valve trombone. Two years with army bands (1950–52) were followed by studies on tuba and euphonium at the University of Iowa; he then taught high school in Durant, Iowa, and in 1957 moved to Las Vegas. There he performed on bass trumpet, played the tuba in a walking bass style with Bob Scobey (1958), and worked with the Dukes of Dixieland for two years (1959–61). In 1967 he conducted the Brothers Castro Big Band in Mexico City. He joined the faculty of North Texas State University in 1973. In 1976 he founded, with the tuba player Harvey Phillips, the Matteson–Phillips Tubajazz Consort, which consisted of three euphoniums, three tubas, and rhythm section. In ...

Article

Nucleus  

Article

Deborah Gillaspie

(b Milwaukee, April 18, 1931). American pianist, composer, and arranger. He began formal piano study at the age of 14 and attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music before entering the army in 1951. Later he studied music education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (BS 1958). After moving to Chicago in 1958 he taught music in public schools (1966–90) and at the American Conservatory (1971–87); in 1997 he joined the faculty of Northern Illinois University. He is best known outside Chicago for his work with Eddie Harris (1961–6) and, later, Elvin Jones (1990–97), with whom he appears in the video Elvin Jones Jazz Machine (n.d. [filmed 1991]). A powerful and harmonically sophisticated pianist, he formed a short-lived trio with Muhal Richard Abrams and Amina Claudine Myers (December 1975) and appeared with many leading players, among them Roy Eldridge, Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, Roscoe Mitchell, Red Norvo, Max Roach, and Joe Williams; his trio consisting of Larry Gray on double bass and Robert Shy on drums is one of the finest modern-jazz rhythm sections in Chicago. Pickens appeared regularly at international jazz festivals and performed at Chicago Jazz Festival almost yearly from its inception. He was interviewed by Marian McPartland for her NPR radio show “Piano Jazz” in ...

Article

Frederick A. Beck

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Rochester, PA, Oct 21, 1935). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, teacher, arranger, and composer. He began playing at the age of five, studying with his father and later at the US Naval School of Music and Sam Houston State University. He played with Woody Herman (October 1959–1961, 1965, including a tour of Europe), Maynard Ferguson (1961–3, 1964), and Count Basie (replacing Thad Jones, April 1963 – July 1964) and wrote arrangements for all three bands. He also performed with Harry James, Terry Gibbs (with whom he recorded in 1965), and Frank Foster’s quintet. In the period 1967–72 he played with Les Brown on three world tours and began working with Louie Bellson (from 1968). As a member of Stan Kenton’s band he appeared as a principal soloist in a special program on PBS television in 1969; he also taught in Kenton’s jazz workshops (...

Article

Floyd Levin

(b Pompton Plains, NJ, April 27, 1959). American tenor and baritone saxophonist, composer, arranger, and jazz educator. He led a quartet in high school in the mid-1970s and graduated from the Berklee College of Music, Boston, in 1981. He has played in orchestras led by Illinois Jacquet (1987), Lionel Hampton (1988–9), Vince Giordano (1988–93), Buck Clayton (1990–91), Tom Harrell (1990), Frank Wess (1991), Maria Schneider (1992–), and Marty Grosz (1993–6), and small groups under the leadership of Keith Ingham and Grosz, both separately and together. His own quartet, featuring Horace Parlan, toured Europe in 1987–9 and recorded in Denmark. In 1993 he and Wess formed a two-saxophone octet and recorded. In 1998 Robinson was performing with bands led by Bob Brookmeyer, John Pizzarelli, Louie Bellson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Randy Sandke, and Ruby Braff. In addition to his sessions with his own quartet, he has taken part in scores of recordings as a sideman. While he is primarily a tenor and baritone saxophonist, he also plays all other sizes of saxophone, clarinets, and flutes, as well as theremin, cornet, alto horn and other brass instruments. His influences range from Louis Armstrong to Sun Ra....