Dixon, Bill [William Robert]
- Andrew Raffo Dewar
(b Nantucket, MA, Oct 5, 1925; d North Bennington, VT, June 16, 2010). American jazz trumpeter, composer, visual artist, educator, and organizer. He created a singular body of work that extended the language of the trumpet and conventional definitions of jazz tradition, exploring concepts and sounds considered by some to be outside the bounds of orthodoxy. His family moved from Nantucket Island to New York in 1933 and settled in Harlem. Music, and the trumpet, became a focus of interest when, as a child, Dixon heard Louis Armstrong perform. He purchased his first trumpet while in high school and was self-taught until the mid-1940s. He began his formal creative work, however, as a visual artist, studying and serving an apprenticeship in the commercial art world during the early 1940s. Dixon enlisted in the army in 1944, after which he attended the Hartnette School of Music in Manhattan. After this intense period of study he composed arrangements and performed with a number of bands and worked as a copyist for George Russell and David Amram, among others. In ...