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Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

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

Lesley A. Wright

[Adrien ]

( b Bayonne, France, June 7, 1828; d Asnières-sur-Seine, France, Aug 13, 1898). French composer, pianist, and teacher . After studying with Leborne, he won the Prix de Rome in 1854. The music section of the Académie praised his envoi, the French opera Don Carlos (1857), for its craftsmanship, fine orchestration, and strong sense of the stage, and in 1858 they awarded him the Prix Édouard Rodrigues for his oratorio Judith, over the only other competitor, Bizet. That year Barthe married mezzo-soprano Anna Banderali.

The Théâtre-Lyrique opened a competition in 1864 on Jules Adenis’s libretto La fiancée d’Abydos, for Prix de Rome winners whose work had not yet reached the stage. Barthe was the unanimous choice of the jury, above Émile Paladilhe and three others. Extensive changes were made during rehearsal and the première took place on 30 December 1865. Critics were largely positive, though they noted resemblances to Meyerbeer, Félicien David, Gounod, and others, and found the libretto somewhat tedious. After a respectable 21 performances (in Paris and Bayonne) the work disappeared from the repertory....

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

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

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

Marcello Piras

(b Westfield, MA, June 17, 1837; d New York, NY, Sept 5, 1903). American banjoist, composer, and teacher. Born into a musical family, which relocated to Elmira, New York, soon after his birth, he began studying piano at six and was a proficient performer at 12. When he was 14 he heard a banjo “in the hands of a colored man” (George Swayne Buckley) who was playing with thumb and first finger; in 1901 he notated those two tunes from memory thus producing what is possibly the oldest known document of African American banjo music. Despite family opposition, Converse devised a pioneering academic technique for the five-string instrument, both absorbing the “stroke” approach, inherited from slaves, and adapting the fingerpicking method of classical guitar. By 1853 he had started concertizing, touring with minstrel companies, and teaching. He edited Thomas Briggs’s Banjo Instructor (Boston, 1855) and may have had a hand in Phil Rice’s ...

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

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

Noal Cohen

[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]

(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Rhodes (née Guy), Helen M.]

(b Château Hardelot, nr Boulogne, c1858; d London, Jan 7, 1936). French composer, pianist and singing teacher. She was the daughter of an English sea captain and the singer Helen Guy. At the age of 15 she was taken to Paris, where she studied at the Conservatoire under Renaud Maury, and success came in her early 20s with the song Sans toi (words by Victor Hugo). Gounod and Massenet were among those who encouraged her in composition, and those who introduced her songs included Nellie Melba, Victor Maurel and Pol Plançon, as well as Emma Calvé, with whom she went to the USA in 1896 as accompanist. After marrying an Englishman she settled in London, where she continued to produce sentimental songs, about 300 in all, notable for their easy melody and typical dramatic climax. They include Three Green Bonnets (H.L. Harris; 1901), Because (E. Teschemacher; ...

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

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

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

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.

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