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J. Bryan Burton

[Goyaałé, Goyathlay, Goyahkla ]

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1904, and wrote an autobiography with S.M. Barrett, the Oklahoma superintendent of education.

As a medicine man (Apache: diyan), Goyaałé performed Apache sacred ceremonies and rituals that required the knowledge of a vast repertoire of traditional songs sung during the ceremonies. A number of the songs he created were collected for Natalie Curtis’s ...

Article

Jonas Westover

[Josef ]

(b Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, May 9, 1882; d Jerusalem, June 19, 1933). Cantor of Ukrainian birth. Regarded by many to be the greatest cantor (hazzan) of his time, he had a remarkable high tenor voice that soared across a wide range and possessed a unique beauty; his perfect pitch, accuracy, and rich falsetto enhanced his reputation. He was born into a large family and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his cantor father. He was a child prodigy, who sang with his father on tours of synagogues. Despite having no formal training, he also began to compose music, focusing on cantorial campositions. In 1912 he immigrated to the United States and became a cantor at the First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek, a synagogue in New York. He recorded extensively, often as Josef Rosenblatt, which led to stardom in both Jewish and gentile circles. His concerts at the Hippodrome (...

Article

Margaret Cayward

[Miguel José ]

(b Petra, Majorca, Spain, Nov 24, 1713; d Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Alta California [now in Carmel, CA], Aug 28, 1784). Spanish Franciscan friar and founder of the Alta California missions. Baptized Miguel José, upon joining the Franciscan order at age 17 he took the name of Junípero, after a companion of St. Francis. In 1742 Serra obtained a doctorate in theology at the Lullian University in Palma de Mallorca, where he was a professor of theology. Known as a forceful and zealous preacher with a resonant voice, in 1749 Serra sailed for New Spain to become a missionary. He served in the missions in the Sierra Gorda from 1750 to 1758, and the missions he administered there prospered. In order to better serve the indigenous population he served there, he learned the Otomí language. In 1758 Serra was recalled to the San Fernando College in Mexico City, where he remained until ...

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(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 ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(b Exeter, Oct 28, 1823; d Leeds, June 16, 1897). English organist and writer. His father William Spark (1797–1865) was a lay vicar of Exeter Cathedral; two brothers were also musicians. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and was articled to S.S. Wesley for five years in 1840. When Wesley moved to Leeds parish church in 1842, Spark went with him, and was soon appointed organist successively at Chapeltown and St Paul’s, Leeds. Appointments at Tiverton, Daventry, and St George’s, Leeds (1850), followed. From his return to Leeds he was extremely active in local music, founding the Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society, the People’s Concerts, and other organizations. With Henry Smart he designed the large organ for the new town hall, opened in 1858, and was elected borough organist, a post which he held until his death. His views on organ building, tending to promote the French school, were influential. He played an organ sonata at the first Leeds Festival (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

[Roosevelt James]

(b New Orleans or Little Rock, AR, Sept 11, 1933). American organist. He was probably born in New Orleans and grew up in Little Rock, but a conclusive source of information concerning this has yet to be found. His father was a minister of a church in Little Rock and his mother was a missionary and pianist. Willette’s nickname, Baby Face, came from his youthful appearance and small physical stature. He studied piano from 1938 and in his youth played organ in his father’s church. From the early 1950s he worked as a pianist and organist in gospel and rhythm-and-blues groups, touring with, among others, Joe Houston, King Kolax, and Johnny Otis. At some point during these years he made Chicago his home, and while there came to be influenced by local gospel organists; he was also attracted by the recordings of Charlie Parker.

Willette recorded on both piano and organ in a rhythm-and-blues style in ...