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Article

E. Ron Horton

[Tony]

(b San Francisco, CA, March 17, 1953). American percussionist, composer, and scholar. He is a California-based artist and educator whose world travels and ethnic heritage have had a major influence on his musical career. His mother was a native of Tokyo, Japan, and his father was of African American and Choctaw decent. He grew up in a military family, moving between California, Germany, and Japan during his formative years. His career in music began in earnest after he returned to San Francisco in 1980. In 1985 he moved to New York and further developed his career while studying jazz performance at Rutgers University. He subsequently earned a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, studying ethnomusicology, a field that allowed him to focus on the musical styles that reflected his cultural heritage. He then began an extensive relationship with the Smithsonian Institute working as the curator of American musical culture, director of the Jazz Oral History program, and a performer in the Smithsonian Jazz Trio. In ...

Article

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 21, 1941). American Gospel music historian, performer, and songwriter. She founded and has served as CEO of the Heritage Music Foundation, which seeks to establish a permanent home and museum for gospel music. Brought up within the Los Angeles public school system, she earned degrees from California State University and the University of Southern California before earning the PhD from the University of Beverly Hills. As a youth she directed and accompanied the children’s choir at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, a church founded in Los Angeles by her father, the Rev. Earl A. Pleasant. Thereafter she became the accompanist for the Sunday School Baptist Training Union and the Young People’s Choir. A prolific arranger and composer, she has composed hundreds of songs performed by some of the best gospel ensembles and artists, including Rev. James Cleveland and the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and the Sounds of Blackness. Her most well-known songs include “Give me a Clean Heart” (...

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Brenda M. Romero

(b Tlaxiaco, Mexico, Sept 9, 1967). Mexican singer, composer, and anthropologist. She was already well known in Mexico when she emerged in the US mainstream with her performance in the film Frida (2002). Her father was Scottish American and her mother is Mixtec from Oaxaca, thus Downs grew up traveling back and forth between the United States and Mexico and between cultures. She began singing at the age of five and began formal classical voice studies at 14 at Bellas Artes in Oaxaca. She subsequently studied in Los Angeles and at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, focusing on Oaxacan highland textiles. In addition to crediting African American music in general, and female singers and the music of jazz in particular, for showing her the many ways in which the voice can be used as an instrument to articulate a wide palette of expressiveness, she credits a range of musical influences, including the Grateful Dead, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Meredith Monk (especially her extended vocal techniques), Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. She has conducted most of her work in collaboration with her husband ...

Article

Sabine Feisst

(b San Diego, CA, May 22, 1953). American composer, media artist, performer, and bio-acoustic researcher. After taking violin and viola lessons with Mary Gerard, James Glazebrook, and Howard Hill and pursuing undergraduate studies in music at San Diego State University, Dunn earned the MFA in new media at the Danube University’s Transart Institute in Krems, Austria (2009). He also studied composition with David Ernst, kenneth Gaburo , Norman Lowrey, and Pauline Oliveros, and served as assistant to harry Partch (1970–74), in whose ensemble he performed for a decade. Engaging in both traditional and experimental compositional approaches, Dunn has conceived music for the concert stage, radio, and film, and explored sound art, including sound installations and soundscape recordings. Dunn has also dedicated himself to studies in acoustic ecology and bio-acoustic research. He has taught at the College of Santa Fe and San Diego State University, where he was director of the Electronic Music Studio. He has served as vice-president of the International Synergy Institute in Los Angeles (...

Article

John Cline

(Aloysius )

(b Takoma Park, MD, Feb 28, 1939; d Salem, OR, Feb 22, 2001). American guitarist, folklorist, and record producer. As a teenager, Fahey’s early interest in country music was expanded to include bluegrass and country-blues due to a friendship with richard Spottswood , later a noted folk and ethnic music scholar. With Spottswood and famed collector Joe Bussard, Fahey sought out pre-war 78 r.p.m. records. After taking up the guitar, Fahey’s made his first recordings for Bussard’s private Fonotone label on 78 r.p.m. shellac discs, some of which Fahey claimed to have slipped into boxes of more “authentic,” vintage records at flea markets. In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records to distribute his own recordings, beginning with the LP Blind Joe Death; his liner notes also frequently mock the language of then-contemporary blues scholars, the very people he had hoped to fool with the Fonotone 78s.

Despite his sense of humor Fahey was a serious student of American vernacular music. He travelled long distances to find Bukka White and Skip James in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1960s; he relates these events in the memoir, ...

Article

Jayson Greene

(b Alameda, CA, Jan 7, 1945). American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster. His father, born Fong Kwok Seung, changed his surname to Torres and posed as a Filipino in order to immigrate to the United States and sidestep the Chinese Exclusion Act. The family subsequently adopted the surname Fong-Torres. Ben Fong-Torres studied radio, television and film at San Francisco State University (BA 1966). He worked as a writer and senior editor for Rolling Stone, coming on board in 1969, shortly after the magazine’s inception, and staying until 1981. During his tenure, he conducted interviews with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Marvin Gaye, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Martin, and many others. His interview with Ray Charles received the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974. Fong-Torres was also a DJ for San Francisco rock station KSAN-FM from ...

Article

Daphne G. Carr

(b Sussex, England, June 25, 1946). British popular music scholar and critic. Frith is a foundational figure in intellectual inquiry on popular music since his first book, The Sociology of Rock (1978). His scholarly work has influenced the terrain of cultural studies in the study of popular music, beginning with mass culture, media, criticism, consumption, leisure, and youth; moving to questions of “authenticity,” taste, cultural hierarchy, and legitimacy; record production and producers; questions of copyright and public policy; and historical accounts of local scenes and live music. Frith has written a number of influential general texts on popular music, co-edited numerous foundational anthologies, educated several generations of British pop scholars, and served as a prominent public intellectual on popular music as culture. Frith was a founding member of International Association for the Study of Popular Music and a founding editor of the journal Popular Music (...

Article

Michael C. Heller

(Mitchell )

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 21, 1948). American jazz and film critic and historian. After studying English at Grinnell College (BA 1972), he returned to New York and began writing on film for the Hollywood Reporter (1972) and on jazz for Down Beat (1972–3). Citing influence from the writers Martin Williams and Dan Morgenstern, he decided to focus his efforts exclusively on jazz and in 1973 was hired as a music critic by the Village Voice. His regular column “Weather Bird” became highly influential during the next three decades. Unlike critics who concentrated primarily on recent performances, Giddins wrote on a range of topics, including the legacies of historical figures, contemporary developments, and issues relating to jazz advocacy and education. From the 1980s he began publishing collections of his essays as well as book-length monographs, including biographies of Charlie Parker (1987), Louis Armstrong (...

Article

Speranța Rădulescu

(b Romania, 1930; d Copenhagen, 4 April 2015). Romanian-Danish ethnochoreologist. She worked as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucharest from 1953 to 1979. She contributed to the foundation and development of scientific research on traditional dance in Romania, where she conducted extensive fieldwork, filming dances and rituals in over 200 villages. Her main interests concerned the contextual study of dance, the analysis of dance structure, the processes of dance improvisation, and dance as an identity marker for the Roma minority group. She also investigated the way traditional symbols were manipulated in Romania for national and political power legitimation.

After 1980 she lived in Denmark, where she conducted research on topics such as continuity and change in the traditional culture of the Vlachs (a Romanian speaking ethnic minority of Serbia) living in Denmark, the Romanian healing ritual căluş, and on the theory and methods of field research in contemporary society. She was the Honorary Chairperson of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and the leader of the Sub-Study Group on Fieldwork Theory and Methods, a Board member of Danish National Committee for ICTM, and Doctor Honoris Causa of Roehampton University, London. She had a great number of publications and a fruitful activity as a lecturer on an international level. In her last years, she worked with Margaret Beissinger and Speranța Rădulescu on the volume ...

Article

Daniel Goldmark

(b Yonkers, NY, May 14, 1948). American film scholar. She received the BA in French, the MA in Romance Languages, and took the doctorate in Romance Languages and Literature, all at the University of Washington (1969, 1971, and 1978). She studied in Paris from 1973–1974 with Christian Metz, Raymond Bellour, Roland Barthes, and Nadia Boulanger. She taught comparative literature and film studies at Indiana University from 1975 to 1990, then joined the founding faculty at the University of Washington, Tacoma, in 1990. Gorbman has written extensively on film music and film sound. She has also translated from French many of Michel Chion’s key theoretical works on the audiovisual, including Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen (1994), The Voice in Cinema (1999), and Film: A Sound Art (2009). Gorbman’s Unheard Melodies (based on her doctoral dissertation) examined the narrative and expressive functions of music in film. It was the first to draw on narrative, semiotic, and psychoanalytic theories that flourished in film studies in the 1970s. Her use of the narrative theory-derived terminology “diegetic/non-diegetic” to assess if and how music, and the soundtrack as a whole, participated in film narration was especially far-reaching, and has since been embraced within film music studies and far beyond to other disciplines....

Article

Stephen D. Winick

(b Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 29, 1917; d San Francisco, CA, March 22, 2009). Folklorist, music scholar, and labor activist of Canadian birth; naturalized American. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Green worked as a road builder, a firefighter, a shipwright, and a carpenter, and joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Green enrolled in graduate school in 1958, earning the Master’s in Library Science and the PhD in folklore. He progressed to a distinguished career as a professor, scholar, and librarian.

As a scholar Green was best known for work on occupational folklore and early hillbilly recordings. He combined these interests in his first book, Only a Miner (1972). He went on to write many other books, as well as articles in Appalachian Journal, the Journal of American Folklore, Labor’s Heritage, Musical Quarterly, and other periodicals and anthologies. Green’s most recent publication is ...

Article

J.W. Junker

[Edward] (Leilani)

(b Honolulu, Hawaii, Aug 4, 1927). Hawaiian musician, bandleader, songwriter, and researcher. A leading figure in the late 20th century revival of Hawaiian culture, Kamae has led the seminal Sons of Hawaii band for over 50 years. He has reintroduced a large number of classic Hawaiian songs from earlier eras, composed several standards, and has documented important Hawaiian topics on over 1000 hours of film.

He began his career in 1948 performing light classics and pop with Shoi Ikemi as The Ukulele Rascals. Self taught, Kamae developed chord voicings and plucking techniques that expanded the instrument’s reach. In 1959 Kamae met Gabby Pahinui and formed Sons of Hawaii. He radically transformed his style for the group, moving between rhythmic accompaniment and pa‘ani (soloing) in a fluid give and take. He also began singing in a distinctive voice full of Hawaiian vocal inflections. With mentoring from scholar Mary Kawena Pukui and others, Kamae began researching older Hawaiian repertoire and composing. His arrangement of waltzes, such as “Sanoe,” and other songs of the 19th century introduced a classical elegance into the group. At the same time The Sons performed downhome party favorites, like “‘Ama ‘Ama.”...

Article

(b Providence, RI, April 28, 1937). Scholar of American dance and dance music. After studies at the Hartford Conservatory of Music, she was awarded the BA in music from Vassar College in 1959, the same year she married Robert Monteith Keller (b 1934). Keller’s interest in colonial-era dance began during the time of the Bicentennial celebrations in the mid-1970s. She and her family were living in a former tavern in Coventry, Connecticut—built in 1801—that had a 42-foot ballroom on the second floor, which was open to the public during the Bicentennial festivities in the town. Curious about what kind of dances had been held there, she and her husband began a quest to bring early American dance back to life. (Her husband has aided her in her research since that time, especially in the area of data management.)

Keller was the first scholar to thoroughly and systematically investigate American dance music of the colonial era and early Republic. She compiled a comprehensive database of dance tunes of American (and many foreign) sources from the 18th century, with Carolyn Rabson, which resulted in the ...

Article

Travis D. Stimeling

[ard ]

(b Greensburg, PA, March 1, 1951). American country music critic and historian. An occasionally controversial journalist and tough critic, Kienzle’s work challenges notions of genre that are often used to separate country, jazz, pop, and rock into discrete categories, instead arguing for a holistic approach that is more representative of the diverse musical interests of recording artists. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh (BA, English, 1973), he sold his first reviews to Country Music Magazine and, over the next 25 years, served as a columnist, critic, and contributing editor for the publication. His contributions to Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar have documented the lives and careers of numerous country and jazz guitarists, while his reviews and articles for No Depression helped to shape the alternative country movement’s view of country music history. To date, he has contributed liner notes for more than 370 CD reissues of country, pop, and jazz records, including several notable releases for Sony Legacy and Bear Family Records. In ...

Article

Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Reuseni, Suceava county, Romania, May 2, 1944). Romanian composer, musicologist, and teacher . Rooted in the folklore of Bukovina and in Byzantine liturgical music, furthering the musical environment of his predecessors Ciprian Porumbescu and George Enescu, his works stand at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, having become established through their authentic expression and mastery of form. His personality has been influential in the musical life of Iaşi and the George Enescu University of Arts, which he served as a professor, dean, and rector.

He studied at the George Enescu Conservatory in Iaşi. He graduated in pedagogy and composition under Vasile Spătărelu. He attended composition classes led by Ştefan Niculescu, Aurel Stroe, and Anatol Vieru at the Vacanţele muzicale de la Piatra Neamt (‘Musical Holidays of Piatra Neamţ’, 1972–80), and then he studied with Roman Vlad at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome (1980). Up until ...

Article

Michael C. Heller

(b Cardiff, UK, Jan 8, 1948). British jazz journalist and historian. He studied music theory and clarinet at the Welsh College of Music and Drama (1967–71), followed by ten years leading a jazz-rock band under the stage name Nick Stewart. In the early 1980s he began writing on jazz for various magazines and newspapers in the UK. Since then his pieces have appeared in a range of publications in Europe and the United States, including The Western Mail, Gramophone, The Observer, Jazzwise, Jazz Times, and The Wire. His writing expanded to book-length studies in the 1990s, including highly regarded biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, as well as broader surveys of jazz in the 1980s and jazz-rock. Since the early 2000s Nicholson has been a key chronicler of the European scene, especially movements blending jazz with local folkloric forms, classical music, and electronica. His controversial ...

Article

Robin Denselow

[Carolanne]

(b Nottingham, Sept 19, 1944). English folk-rock and neo-traditional singer, fiddle player, songwriter and ethnomusicologist. In the early 1960s she was a resident singer at the Nottingham folk club. From 1964 to 1969, she and her husband Bob Pegg ran the traditional club the Sovereign in Leeds, and performed together on the national folk circuit. She introduced to the folk scene the English fiddle style (comprising short choppy bow strokes, double-stopping, drones and no vibrato), learnt from traditional fiddlers, including Jinky Wells, Peter Beresford and Harry Cox.

The Peggs recorded their interpretations of Sydney Carter's songs on And Now it is So Early (Galliard), and their own songs on He Came from the Mountains (Transatlantic, 1971), by which time they had launched the experimental and controversial folk-rock band Mr Fox . Carole Pegg's singer-songwriter album Carolanne (1973) mixed traditional English influences with rock and country music, and featured the guitarist Albert Lee. She went on to form Magus with Graham Bond while continuing to perform solo....

Article

William Kirk Bares

(Hopkins )

(b Sharon, CT, Nov 17, 1935). American trombonist, ethnomusicologist, and composer. A well regarded jazz soloist, he is perhaps best known as a musical collaborator with ecumenical tastes. Strongly influenced by New Orleans jazz at a young age and seasoned by work in traditional jazz bands as a student at Yale, he transitioned easily to the collective free improvisation scenes of 1960s and 70s New York. Early partners included Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Sheila Jordan, Enrico Rava, Carla Bley, John Tchicai, and Milford Graves; he worked with the last two in the New York Art Quartet. The open spirit of his early work is preserved on Archie Shepp’s Four for Trane (1964, Imp.), to which he contributed adventurous arrangements, and his own eclectic Blown Bone (1976, Phillips), which features several of the above artists.

Rudd’s subsequent collaborations have extended his longtime interest in non-Western music. He has carried out research for Alan Lomax’s cantometrics project (from early 1980s) and taught ethnomusicology at Bard College (...

Article

James G. Roy Jr

revised by Carman Moore and J. Bradford Robinson

(Allan)

(b Cincinnati, June 23, 1923; d Boston, July 27, 2009). American jazz composer and theorist. He played the drums in local clubs while a student at Wilberforce University High School. During a long illness in 1945–6 he formulated the basis of his ‘Lydian concept’, a system of composition based on grading intervals by the distance of their pitches from a central note. After his recovery he wrote scores for Dizzy Gillespie, including Cubana Be/Cubana Bop (one of the earliest works to combine jazz and Latin influences), and for Buddy DeFranco (A Bird in Igor’s Yard) and Lee Konitz (Ezz-thetic and Odjenar); meanwhile he also studied composition with Stefan Wolpe. From 1950 he consolidated and refined his ideas on music theory, publishing them as The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (1953, 2/1959), which was immediately received as the first major contribution by a jazz musician to the field of music theory. Works followed on an increasingly large scale, establishing Russell, along with Gil Evans, as a leading postwar jazz composer; he combined advanced jazz idioms with an unusually rigorous concern for structure, harmony, and the balance between composition and improvisation. In ...

Article

(b Shoah, Ethiopia, 1949). Ethiopian singer, church musician, and liturgical scholar, naturalized American. Seyoum began studying music at the age of eight and attended various religious schools in his homeland. As he grew older, he began to learn new types of performance, including the Bethlehem style of singing, Christian chant, and sacred dance. At 17 years of age, he was already named a quanygeta, or “leader of the right hand side,” an important position among Ethiopian church musicians (also called dabrata). He quickly rose from deacon to marigeta, the leader of the musicians. He spent ten years in Greece learning more about liturgical practices and then came to the United States in 1982. Seyoum settled in Alexandria, Virgina, and joined the Debre Selam Kidist Mariam Church in Washington, DC. He became a leader there, and his remarkable musical skills have led to the preservation of many traditional elements of the Ethiopian Christian tradition in America. To codify and disseminate these practices, Seyoum released a six-CD set of liturgical materials. He has memorized the entirety of the Ethiopian Psalter (Dawit) and has intimate knowledge of other sacred books, such as the Ethiopian Hymnary. Seyoum is an expert of instrumental church practices, including those that are tied to the extremely complicated notational system from Ethiopia that includes more than 600 symbols. He is also the only living master of the prayer staff and its movements (an art called ...