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Charles Conrad

(b Oak Park, IL, May 3, 1954). American composer, conductor, educator, and author. Camphouse is one of the leading composers of works for wind band. He has served since 2006 on the faculty of George Mason University, where he conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches conducting and composition. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University, where his teachers included John Paynter (conducting), Adolph Herseth and Vincent Cichowicz (trumpet), and Alan Stout (composition).

He has composed more than 25 band works, including A Movement for Rosa; Whatsoever Things; Watchman, Tell of the Night; The Shining City; To Build a Fire; and Symphony from Ivy Green for soprano and wind orchestra. He conceived and edited the four-volume series Composers on Composing for Band. Camphouse is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and is a frequent guest conductor and clinician. He served as director of bands at Radford University (...

Article

Franya Berkman

[Sangitananda, Turiya]

(b Detroit, MI, Aug 27, 1937; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 12, 2007). American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, composer, and spiritual teacher, wife of john Coltrane and mother of Ravi Coltrane. Raised in a musical family in Detroit, she studied piano between the ages of seven and ten, then percussion at North Eastern High School. A keyboard protégée, she played for gospel choirs during her teen years and attended bebop jam sessions with her half-brother, a bass player, Ernest Farrow (1928–69). Early piano mentors include Barry Harris and Terry Pollard.

From 1956 to 1960, she played organ with the Premieres in Detroit and accompanied the saxophonists Yusef Lateef and Sonny Stitt. In 1960, she married the singer Kenneth “Pancho” Hagood and moved to Paris, where she befriended Bud Powell and gave birth to a daughter, Michelle. After returning to New York, she played with Johnny Griffin and Lucky Thompson. Between ...

Article

Luca Cerchiari

(Richard)

( Dallas, TX, Feb 3, 1933). American alto saxophonist and music educator. He was raised in California, where he studied clarinet before switching to alto saxophone. He has also played tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, piano, oboe, and percussion. Handy started his career performing in San Francisco with the blues musicians Lowell Fulson and Pee Wee Crayton and the jazz musicians Freddie Redd, Pat Martino, and Bobby Hutcherson. He then moved in 1958 to New York, where he formed his own group and worked with the pianist Randy Weston and the bass player and composer Charles Mingus (including the album Mingus Ah Um, 1959, Col.). In 1959 he recorded his first album, for Roulette. After studying music at San Francisco State College (BA 1963), he had a parallel career as a teacher, working at San Francisco State University and Conservatory, the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University, among other institutions. He rejoined Mingus in ...

Article

Andrew Scott

(Doyle)

(b Detroit, MI, Dec 15, 1929). American jazz pianist, composer, and pedagogue. He first encountered music through the church where his mother worked as a pianist and he first performed. After starting piano lessons at the age of four, he taught himself the boogie-woogie style of Albert Ammons before hearing bebop at a performance by Charlie Parker at Club El Sino in 1947. Having played some of his first professional engagements with Frank Rosolino, Harris became the house pianist at the Blue Bird Inn in Detroit, where he accompanied Lester Young, Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, and Parker, among others. After travelling to New York in 1956 to record with Thad Jones and Hank Mobley, Harris remained in Detroit until 1960, when he moved to New York to join Cannonball Adderley’s group. Harris made his first recording as a leader in 1958 for the Argo label. Throughout the 1960s, he enjoyed working relationships with Coleman Hawkins and the A&R man Don Schlitten, for whom Harris recorded for Riverside and Xanadu. Although an active performer and recording artist, he solidified his place as an important jazz pedagogue through his codification of passing-note scales, his employment of moving diminished chords, and his ability to demystify bebop’s complexities. Harris created the Jazz Cultural Center as a hub for his educational initiatives in ...

Article

John Bass

[William]

(b Los Angeles, Oct 11, 1936; d Inglewood, CA, May 3, 2001). American jazz drummer, recording artist, and educator. He played drums from an early age, and his first professional experiences came backing up the rhythm-and-blues performers Amos Milburn and Bo Diddley. After turning his attention to jazz in the late 1950s, Higgins performed and recorded with Dexter Gordon and Thelonious Monk. He was also a member of the Jazz Messiahs with the trumpeter Don Cherry and of Ornette Coleman’s quartet with Cherry and the bass player Charlie Haden; he played with the latter group during a residency at the Five Spot in New York. Higgins performed on three of Coleman’s recordings: Something Else!!!! The Music of Ornette Coleman (1958, Cont.), which included the bass player Don Payne and the pianist Walter Norris; The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959, Atl.); and Change of the Century...

Article

Lars Helgert

(George)

(b Vallejo, CA, Sept 30, 1954). American composer and bass player. He studied bass as a youth with Charles Manning and then under Charles Siani at San Francisco State University, where he received a BA in music. He also studied Japanese gagaku music with Togi Suenobu and has become proficient on the shō, sheng, and other Asian instruments. Izu has performed with Cecil Tayor, Steve Lacy, and James Newton, and has been an important figure in Asian American jazz. He was a founding member of the groups United Front and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, performing on the latter’s Grammy-nominated recording of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Far East Suite (1999, Asian Improv). He has also worked with Jon Jang’s Pan Asian Arkestra. Izu has served as artistic director of the Asian American Jazz Festival and on the faculty of Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts....

Article

Mark C. Gridley

revised by Barry Long

[Charles Frank ]

(b Rochester, NY, Nov 29, 1940). American jazz flugelhorn player, composer, and bandleader. While studying at the Eastman School (BMEd 1963) he recorded with his brother, the pianist Gap Mangione, for the Riverside label as the Jazz Brothers. With an early style that bore similarities to early Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, his work with bandleaders such as Woody Herman (1965), Maynard Ferguson (1965), and Art Blakey (1965–7), drew wider attention. Following a brief tenure on the Eastman faculty (1968–1972), Mangione concentrated on flugelhorn, and his work began to synthesize jazz elements, string arrangements, and a pop sensibility. Following the success of his album Land of Make Believe (1973, Mer.), he moved to Herb Alpert’s A&M label to record Bellavia (1975, A&M) and won his first Grammy Award, for Best Instrumental Composition, for its title track. He began to draw a large following with performances of catchy original melodies, particularly “Land of Make Believe” and “Feels So Good,” with simplified arrangements and a reduced improvisational element that attracted widespread radio airplay. Strong sales for a jazz artist, including an extraordinary two million copies of his album ...

Article

Gregory N. Reish

(b Seattle, WA, Aug 5, 1961). American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator. A teenaged multi-instrument prodigy in country and bluegrass styles, he won the National Junior Fiddle Championships (1974–7), the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship (1975), the National Flatpick Guitar Championship (1975), and the National Mandolin Championship (1979). His early mentor was noted Texas-style fiddler benny Thomasson , and he later studied with jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.

In 1980 O’Connor joined the David Grisman Quintet as guitarist, absorbing Grisman’s progressive blend of bluegrass and swing-era “hot club” jazz. Two years later he became violinist in The Dregs (formerly The Dixie Dregs), a jazz-rock fusion band. O’Connor’s early solo recordings, such as On the Rampage (Rounder, 1980) and Meanings of (Warner Bros., 1985), showcase his virtuosity on guitar and violin and demonstrate the influence of Grisman and the Dregs. Since 1982 O’Connor has worked extensively as a session musician, recording with numerous bluegrass, country, and pop artists....

Article

James Patrick

(b Ansonia, CO, May 28, 1921). American jazz pianist. As a child performer he appeared in the original production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in 1935. From 1939 to 1943 he led the house band at Monroe’s Uptown House in New York, where he was in the forefront of the modernist movement that crystallized in the bop idiom. Though his work was seldom recorded, his harmonically advanced, flowing, and lightly percussive style mark him as an important forerunner of such early modern pianists as Bud Powell, George Wallington, Al Haig, and Duke Jordan. Repelled by the influence of narcotics in jazz, from 1946 he turned increasingly to other musical opportunities. In 1968 he settled in Buffalo, New York, where he performed, lectured at SUNY, and co-directed a state prison music program. He received an honorary doctorate from Buffalo State College in 1999.

L. Feather: Inside Be-bop (New York, 1949/...