(b Copenhagen, Feb 28, 1916; d Feb 7, 2017). Danish violinist, entertainer, and singer. He began playing violin as a young child. As a schoolboy he heard the popular violinists Eli Donde and Otto Lington, but did not at first consider music as a career. He undertook studies in sculpture (at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen), dentistry, and law, and during the same period led amateur orchestras. In 1933 he made his professional début at the Apollo Theater in Copenhagen, and the following year he formed a sextet, along the lines of Joe Venuti’s groups, which first recorded in 1935. In 1936 he heard Stuff Smith’s contemporary recordings; these exerted a great influence on his understanding of how the violin might be used as a jazz instrument. Asmussen played with the Mills Brothers (1937) and Fats Waller (1938) when they toured Denmark, and he recorded with Oscar Alemán (...
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revised by Anthony Barnett
Christoph Wolff and Walter Emery
Member of Bach family
(24) (b Eisenach, March 21, 1685; d Leipzig, July 28, 1750). Composer and organist. The most important member of the family, his genius combined outstanding performing musicianship with supreme creative powers in which forceful and original inventiveness, technical mastery and intellectual control are perfectly balanced. While it was in the former capacity, as a keyboard virtuoso, that in his lifetime he acquired an almost legendary fame, it is the latter virtues and accomplishments, as a composer, that by the end of the 18th century earned him a unique historical position. His musical language was distinctive and extraordinarily varied, drawing together and surmounting the techniques, the styles and the general achievements of his own and earlier generations and leading on to new perspectives which later ages have received and understood in a great variety of ways.
The first authentic posthumous account of his life, with a summary catalogue of his works, was put together by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel and his pupil J.F. Agricola soon after his death and certainly before ...
revised by Peter Loewen
(b nr Ilchester, c1214; d Oxford, c1292). English theologian and philosopher, the most immediate successor to the science of Robert Grosseteste and Adam Marsh. Bacon studied in Oxford between 1228 and 1236, then in Paris. Some time between 1245 and 1256 he entered the order of friars minor. In 1247 he gave up his official teaching in Paris, returning some three years later to Oxford. His expertise appears to have concentrated in the quadrivium in general, and geometry in particular. Later critics tended to romanticize his conflict with superiors of his order, turning him into a kind of hero of experimental science and empirical observation.
In a letter dated June 22, 1266, pope Clement IV requested a copy of Bacon's philosophical writings. Bacon’s communication about the project had begun with Raymond de Laon, clerk to Guy le Gros de Foulques, Archbishop of Narbonne and Cardinal-Bishop of St. Sabina before Guy became pope Clement IV. Although the friars had been prohibited since 1260 from publishing new works without the approbation of their superiors, Bacon responded by composing a ...
Bonnie C. Wade
revised by Inderjit N. Kaur
(b Miraj, 1905; d 1989). North Indian (Hindustani) classical music vocalist. She was the daughter of Abdul Karim Khan of the Kirana gharānā and studied with her father’s cousin, Abdul Wahid Khan. Her first important opportunity as a vocalist came when Vishnu Digambar Paluskar invited her to sing in public in 1922. After the Maharashtrian revival of theatre broke the ban on women appearing on the professional stage in that region, Barodekar performed in plays with mixed casts. When live theatre waned in the face of the new film industry, she joined artists who were introducing art music to the non-court world in North India.
Barodekar enjoyed a long and successful career as concert singer, regional theatre singer/actress, broadcasting artist and recording artist. She had a large number of releases with major labels, including HMV, Odeon, and Columbia. Barodekar was the first female musician to be invited to the prestigious Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in ...
revised by Howard Rye
(b Charleston, SC, April 19, 1905; d Mount Vernon, NY, March 24, 1994). American drummer, brother of Bill Benford. His full birth name appears on his handwritten 1942 draft registration card, which also gives his birthplace as Charleston, West Virginia. His mother died when he was young, and after his father, aunt, and uncle ran into personal difficulties they sent the brothers to the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina, where they received their musical education. These circumstances may account for his confusion over his birth state, which appears as South Carolina in available censuses. After leaving the Orphanage, the brothers joined a minstrel band, moved to New York in the early 1920s, and played with various groups, including that of Elmer Snowden. Tommy performed (for two or three years) and recorded (1926) with the pianist Charlie Skeete and worked with Jelly Roll Morton, contributing to the latter’s classic recordings ...
[Benjamin, Beatrice Bertha; Beatty; Satima]
(b Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct 17, 1936; d Cape Town, South Africa, Aug 29, 2013). South African singer. Born in Johannesburg, she was raised by her paternal grandmother in Cape Town. The name Sathima, which means “person with a kind heart,” was given to her by Johnny Dyani and was originally spelled Satima. She sang standards and show tunes in local groups as a teenager and was performing professionally by the late 1950s. From 1959 she worked with Hugh Masekela and Dollar Brand, with whom she moved to Zurich in 1962 to escape the politics of apartheid in South Africa. In Paris in 1963 she made her first recording as a leader, accompanied by a small group under the direction of Duke Ellington that included Svend Asmussen, the double bass player Johnny Gertze, and Makaya Ntshoko, with either Brand, Billy Strayhorn, or Ellington on piano; the results were not issued until 34 years later. In ...
Barbara Garvey Jackson
revised by Dominique-René de Lerma
(b Chicago, IL, 3 March 1913; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 April 1972). Composer, pianist, and teacher. She began musical studies with her mother, whose home was a gathering place for young black writers, artists, and musicians including Will Marion Cook, Lillian Evanti, Abbie Mitchell, and Florence Price. Bonds showed promise early, composing her first work, Marquette Street Blues, at the age of five. In high school Bonds studied piano and composition with Florence Bea Price and later with William Levi Dawson; she received BM and MM degrees from Northwestern University (1933, 1934). She moved to New York in 1939 and in 1940 married Lawrence Richardson. At the Juilliard Graduate School she studied the piano with Djane Herz and composition with Robert Starer. Other teachers included Roy Harris, Emerson Harper, and Walter Gossett.
Bonds first came to public notice when she won the Wanamaker prize in ...
Ann Glazer Niren
(b (Mokraia) Kaligorka, Ukraine, 24 April 1885/1887; d Boston, 31 March 1975). Music director, composer, pianist, and organist. Braslavsky likely received early musical instruction from his father, Hersh, a cantor at the Great Synagogue in Uman, Ukraine. Braslavsky later served as a Lieutenant in the Russian army, where he conducted several military bands. He studied at the Kaiserlich-Königliche Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and the University of Vienna. In Vienna, Braslavsky taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary and conducted the Jewish Choral Society and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, which performed several of his compositions; these early works are unpublished.
In 1928, Congregation Mishkan Tefila of Boston hired Braslavsky to serve as its music director, where he conducted the choir, played organ, and composed Jewish choral works, some of which also remain unpublished. Braslavsky’s music exhibits a synthesis of eastern European synagogue music and Western traditional tonal idioms. Important works include the collection ...
(b Taganrog, Russia, 21 March/2 April 1851; d Manchester, England, 22 Jan 1929). Russian violinist and pedagogue. From 1860 to 1867 he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger at the Vienna Conservatoire, playing in Hellmesberger’s concerts, eventually becoming second violin in his quartet. In Vienna he first met Brahms and the conductor Hans Richter. In 1870 he returned to Russia, where he made the acquaintance of Tchaikovsky and in 1875 was appointed a teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire. From 1878 to 1880 he was the Director of the Kiev Symphony Society. During three years of European touring, 1880–83, he gave the first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in December 1881, with the Vienna Philharmonic under Richter. Its originally dedicatee, Leopold Auer, had deemed the concerto unplayable and Tchaikovsky subsequently rededicated it to Brodsky. After his appointment as Professor of Violin at the Leipzig Conservatoire in 1883 Brodsky founded his first string quartet. In Leipzig he gave the premières of works by Grieg and Busoni, with whom he formed lasting friendships. His leadership of Walter Damrosch’s New York Symphony Orchestra, ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Shreveport, LA, July 1, 1952; d Los Angeles, Feb 3, 2018). Drummer and percussionist. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and he began drumming when he was 12 or 13. He studied music in high school, and at the same time performed with Willie Bobo and Gerald Wilson; he then attended the Dominquez Hills campus of California State College for two years, studying music education, and played with Wilson, Hugh Masekela, Herbie Hancock (1970–71), Eddie Harris, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis (both 1971), and Freddie Hubbard before joining George Duke, with whom he worked intermittently from 1972 through the 1990s. From 1974 to 1976 he toured with Carlos Santana. He spent a further period with Hancock (1977–80) and led his own group, Chocolate Jam Company (1979–81), but during the 1980s worked mostly as a record producer for several pop musicians, including Kenny Rogers and Michael Jackson, and as a session musician. In addition to his continuing association with Duke, Chancler was a member of The Meeting, which was formed in ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Kansas City, KS, Feb 15, 1937; d Atlanta, GA, April 8, 2018). American tenor saxophonist and educator. He grew up in a musical family, and while at high school briefly learned trombone before taking up clarinet and saxophone. At around the age of 18 he worked with Jay McShann, following which he had the unusual distinction of being one of the few men to have played in Tiny Davis’s “all-girl” band. He won a scholarship to study at the University of Kansas, where he gained a BA in music education and led a hard-bop band that included Carmell Jones and Donald Dean. After a period in Chicago, when he played with Ira Sullivan, John Gilmore, and Johnny Griffin at jam sessions, he served in the military (from 1960), played in an army band in Berlin, and began to work with Benny Bailey. In January 1963, through Bailey, he met Kenny Clarke when he was deputizing for Lucky Thompson at a concert in Germany. He remained in Europe following his discharge and from ...
(b Vienna, March 9, 1885; d Vienna, May 27, 1964). Austrian Jewish music historian, educator, and critic. In 1912 he graduated from Vienna’s Imperial Academy of Science with a doctoral dissertation entitled Die indische Musik der vedischen und der klassischen Zeit (‘The Indian Music of the Vedic and the Classical Period’) under the supervision of Leopold Shröder. Felber’s dissertation remains an authoritative source for modern scholars interested in the recitation techniques and ethos of early South Asian music. Prior to his arrival in China, he was active in the Indian community in Vienna and had given lectures on Indian music at the Indian Club. Furthermore, he felt privileged to have met the legendary Nobel laureate Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who was also a noted musician. During their meeting, Tagore shared his views on the aesthetics of European music and Indian classical music with him. After the Anschluss (...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Philadelphia, May 19, 1939; d New York, Oct 25, 2018). American alto saxophonist. He studied music from the age of 18 and worked in Philadelphia with rhythm-and-blues groups. Having played jazz with the singer Carolyn Harris until 1967 he moved to New York, where he joined Elvin Jones for four months as Frank Foster’s replacement. He returned to Philadelphia and was then again in New York with Mongo Santamaria (1968 – early 1970). After spending ten months of 1970 playing in Los Angeles, he went once more to New York and in 1971 joined McCoy Tyner. He was active as a leader for a brief period (1973), recorded with Abdullah Ibrahim’s big band (1973), and was a member of groups led by Buddy Rich and Miles Davis (August 1974 – May 1975); he recorded as a sideman with Michael Carvin (...
(b New York, Dec 18, 1928; d Feb 23, 2019). American writer. After attending the University of Missouri (1946–50) and Columbia University (1950) he worked for Prestige Records (1950–55). With Leonard Feather he collaborated on The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955), for which he was an assistant writer and editor, and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (1966), and he was an author with Feather of The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies (1976) and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999). Gitler wrote for such periodicals as Metronome, Jazz Magazine, Down Beat (of which he was an associate editor), and Jazz Times, produced film scripts on Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton for the US Information Service, and was a commentator for radio station WBAI, New York; he also taught at CUNY. Among his more notable writings is ...
Albanian cultural festival. The National Folklore Festival of Albania was first held in 1968 in the ancient castle of Gjirokastër and continued regularly every five years until 1988. The political changes occurring in the country during the transition to democracy put the festival on hold for seven years. In 1995, the government decided to move the festival from Gjirokastër to the castle of Berat, an ancient, UNESCO-protected city in central Albania. However, strong protests from professional musicians, participants, and music lovers, brought the festival back to Gjirokastër in 2000. The festival has since then taken place in 2004, 2009, and 2015. Because of the devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake and later the COVID-19 pandemic, the government postponed and canceled all activities planned for 2020 and 2021.
The format and content of this festival have evolved over time. Prior to the 1990s, the themes of songs were primarily related to politics and the ideology of the time. Each group was obliged to sing songs dedicated to the dictator Enver Hoxha. Many of the songs would praise the Socialist Party, the National Liberation War, and Albania’s natural beauty. The participants of this festival had to demonstrate unwavering support and strong alignment with the government ideology. Individuals with even a single instance of persecution in their family history would be barred from participation. The professional music directors responsible for the different groups were responsible for bringing together the participants and preparing the group for the performance. These trained participating musicians would travel around the villages collecting raw materials, which would later be arranged in notated music and songbooks. These songs had to receive the final approval from the political bureau where the lyrics of the songs were inspected....
(b St Andrew, Jamaica, Nov 29, 1914; d London, Oct 2, 2015). Jamaican double bass player. His middle names had been published as George Emmerson, but a family tree and Jamaica Civil Registration Birth, Marriage, and Death Records give George Emerson. His father was a conductor and choirmaster and his mother was a singer – as was Goode himself initially. Having taken up violin at the age of 12 he went to Scotland in 1934 and played violin while at university in Glasgow. He then began his professional career as a double bass player at the Panama Club in London with the trumpeter Johnny Claes and his Claypigeons (1942). He performed with Bertie King (1943), Jiver Hutchinson (1944), and Lauderic Caton (1945), and with Caton and Dick Katz he was a founding member of the Caribbean Trio, which existed from 1945 to 1947...
(b Munich, April 2, 1926; d Munich, Aug 12, 2015). German tenor saxophonist and bandleader. He studied classical piano and clarinet at the conservatory in Munich. From 1945 he worked in dance bands at American clubs, and he played accordion, then clarinet and tenor saxophone, with the trumpeter Charly Tabor. In 1948 he formed a sextet, which later became an octet and then, in 1955, a band with 13 members that played in the style of Glenn Miller; this group accompanied such singers as Ella Fitzgerald. Greger toured Germany with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra and the USSR with his own band (1959). From 1963 into the 1980s he led an orchestra of 16 players that performed on television in Germany; among its longtime sidemen were Don Menza and Benny Bailey. Greger made more than 150 recordings, including European Jazz Sounds (1963, Bruns. 87918) and Maximum (...
Bonnie C. Wade
revised by Inderjit N. Kaur
(b Dharwar, 5 March 1913; d Hubli, 21 July 2009).North Indian (Hindustani) classical music vocalist. She was born into a South Indian family and her mother was an accomplished Karnatak (South Indian classical) musician, but Gangubai studied North Indian music rather than South Indian. At the age of 13 she began formal training in Hubli at Krishna Acharya’s music school. She became a disciple of Sawai Gandharva of the Kirana gharānā, but she was only able to study with him for 15 days a year when he returned to his village. After he settled there in 1938, Gangubai received three years of intensive training, then sporadic training until his death in 1942. It is remarkable that Gangubai managed to become a musician and to achieve success. She performed throughout India and broadcast for All-India Radio stations until 1945; her performances included lighter genres such as bhajan, ṭhumrī...
Georg Feder and James Webster
(b Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732; d Vienna, May 31, 1809). Austrian composer, brother of Michael Haydn. Neither he nor his contemporaries used the name Franz, and there is no reason to do so today. He began his career in the traditional patronage system of the late Austrian Baroque, and ended as a ‘free’ artist within the burgeoning Romanticism of the early 19th century. Famous as early as the mid-1760s, by the 1780s he had become the most celebrated composer of his time, and from the 1790s until his death was a culture-hero throughout Europe. Since the early 19th century he has been venerated as the first of the three ‘Viennese Classics’ (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven). He excelled in every musical genre; during the first half of his career his vocal works were as famous as his instrumental ones, although after his death the reception of his music focussed on the latter (except for ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b London, June 21, 1944: d Sutton, UK, June 12, 2018). English drummer and bandleader. Having first played violin and piano, he took up drums while in high school and was soon playing locally; from the age of 18 he worked semiprofessionally. His early experience was with pop and blues-rock musicians – including Graham Bond (1966), Georgie Fame, and John Mayall (late 1967–1968, 1971) – but his resourcefulness enabled him to play jazz with ease. Hiseman’s reputation as a jazz musician was enhanced during this period by associations with Mike Taylor (recording in 1965–6), John Dankworth, Neil Ardley (including recordings with the New Jazz Orchestra, 1965 and 1968), Howard Riley (intermittently, autumn 1965 – summer 1968), and Pete Lemer (recording c1966). In 1968 he established his own group, Colosseum, which became one of the seminal British jazz-rock groups. After this disbanded late in ...