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Article

Chip Henderson

[Masawwir, Damu Mustafa Abdul ]

(b St. Matthews, SC, Feb 2, 1942). American electric guitarist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist. Ulmer grew up in a musical family. By the age of four he began to learn the guitar from his father. From the ages of seven to thirteen he played guitar and sang with his father’s gospel group, the Southern Sons. Ulmer moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 and began to immerse himself in the city’s rhythm and blues scene. From 1959 to 1964 Ulmer performed with the Del Vikings, the Savoys, and Jewel Brenner’s Swing Kings. In 1964 he moved to Columbus, Ohio. From 1964 to 1967 he studied jazz and performed with organist Hank Marr. Ulmer relocated to Detroit, Michigan, in 1967 and began his tenure with soul-jazz organist “Big” John Patton. During his time in Detroit (1967–71) Ulmer became interested in contemporary rock styles, including the music and tonal innovations of guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Soon after Ulmer moved to New York City in ...

Article

Peter Branscombe

(b Vienna, 1746; d Meidling, nr Vienna, June 8, 1796). Austrian composer, conductor and viola player, father of Michael Umlauf. His name first appears as fourth viola player in the Vienna court orchestra in 1772, from which year his Singspiel Die Insul der Liebe probably dates. By 1775 he had advanced to the post of principal viola player in the German Theatre orchestra, and by 1778 he was highly enough regarded to be given the commission to write the first work for Joseph II’s new ‘German National Singspiel’, Die Bergknappen, to a libretto by Joseph Weidmann. Umlauf was appointed Kapellmeister to the new venture at a modest 600 florins a year, less than some of the singers received. Four further works by him were given before the first closure of the Singspiel company in 1783, including Die schöne Schusterin oder Die pücefarbenen Schuhe (1779), which, partly because of the much-loved Marianna Weiss in the title role, had over 60 performances in 23 years and was also staged in at least four other Vienna theatres, and ...

Article

Peter Branscombe

(b Vienna, Aug 9, 1781; d Baden, nr Vienna, June 20, 1842). Austrian composer, conductor and violinist, son of Ignaz Umlauf. At an early age he became a violinist in the Vienna court orchestra; the first of a series of ballet scores for the court theatres dates from 1804. He is listed in the theatre almanac of 1809 as Kapellmeister Gyrowetz’s deputy, and by the 1815 almanac he had advanced to fourth of the six Kapellmeister at the court theatres. Umlauf retired in 1825 during Barbaia’s direction of the court opera, and applied without success for the post of second Kapellmeister at the Stephansdom. It was 1840 before he again came to the fore, this time as music director at the two court theatres, but his lengthy absence had left him quite out of touch and he soon retired again, dying not long after.

Umlauf’s name is most familiar from his connections with Beethoven, whose works he several times conducted. In ...

Article

Münir Nurettin Beken

(b Istanbul, Nov 23, 1910; d Dublin, March 24, 1987). Turkish composer, violinist and conductor. He studied the violin with Line Talluel, Marcel Chailley and Jacques Thibaud and harmony with L. Laurant and Alexandre Cellier at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris; he also took composition lessons from Dandelot. His compositional style evolved throughout his career. His impressionistic early compositions reflect his education in Paris; later he was influenced by the philosophy of Henri Bergson and began to incorporate the melodic and rhythmic modal systems of Turkish traditional music. While Ün considered his works written after 1965 to be images of Eastern mysticism, his earlier compositions often cultivated national themes, as in his symphonic poem Yurdum (‘My Country’). Ün also wrote several books on music education in Turkey.

(selective list)

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Michał ]

(b Warsaw, Jan 22, 1943). Polish violinist, tenor saxophonist, and bandleader. He studied classical violin from the age of six, and when he was 15 he won – but declined – a scholarship to study with David Oistrakh in Moscow, choosing instead to concentrate on his new love, jazz; he took up soprano saxophone, then tenor saxophone, and briefly played dixieland and swing before settling into the hard-bop style. However, he worked as a classical violinist while playing tenor saxophone with Zbigniew Namysłowski (1961), Andrzej Trzaskowski’s Wreckers (1962–4, including a tour of the USA in 1962), and Krzysztof Komeda (1962–5). From 1965 he led a group in Scandinavia with Urszula Dudziak, whom he married in 1967, and after returning to Poland in 1969 he formed the eclectic group Constellation, with Dudziak, Adam Makowicz, Czesław Bartkowski, and Paweł Jarzȩbski (replaced in 1972–3 by Roman Dyla̧g). In the course of this affiliation he was named the best soloist at the ...

Article

Michael Tovey

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Thomas, Kid; Valentine, Thomas]

(b Reserve, LA, Feb 3, 1896; d New Orleans, June 16, 1987). American trumpeter and bandleader. He began playing at the age of ten. When he was 14 he joined the Pickwick Brass Band, of which his father was a member, and four years later he formed a band with Edmond Hall and other members of Hall’s family. In 1922 he moved to New Orleans, where from the early 1930s he led his own band. He became associated with the dance-hall proprietor Specks Rodriguez in the late 1930s, playing for him at various venues in Louisiana – notably at the Moulin Rouge in Marrero (from World War II into the 1950s). Valentine made his first recordings in 1951. He began working at Preservation Hall when it opened in 1961 and in the mid-1980s continued to lead his band the Algiers Stompers, sometimes under the name of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band...

Article

Deane L. Root

[Hubert Prior]

(b Island Pond, VT, July 28, 1901; d North Hollywood, CA, July 3, 1986). American bandleader, singer, saxophonist, actor and publisher. From 1918 he learnt the saxophone and played in a theatre orchestra in Portland, Maine, then attended the University of Maine (1921) and Yale University (to 1927). In 1928 he formed his own band, the Connecticut Yankees; he made his début as a singer in George White’s Scandals (1931), and appeared in Broadway musicals, television and over 20 films, mostly as a musician or comic actor. During the 1930s and 1940s, with his salutation ‘Heigh-ho, everybody!’, he was one of the most successful American bandleaders and singers, among the first crooners to inspire mass hysteria in his audience. With his thin, nasal voice and using a megaphone – later a microphone – he popularized the Maine Stein Song, the Yale Whiffenpoof Song, his own ...

Article

Wim van Eyle

(b Zandvoort, Netherlands, July 13, 1908; d Brussels, May 17, 1955). Dutch bandleader and pianist. He played piano on the radio (1937–40) and in his own band. In 1940 he formed a big band under orders from the Germans during their occupation of the Netherlands. This group performed principally in Germany and to a lesser degree in the Netherlands and Belgium; although in theory forbidden to do so, it nonetheless played jazz, as evidenced by the recording of ...

Article

Pauline Bayne

(b Plymouth, IN, May 8, 1906; d Los Angeles, March 24, 1994). American composer, conductor and flautist. He studied at Northwestern University (BM 1928, MM 1935), the Vienna Music Academy (1928–9), the Ecole Normale, Paris (1931), and the Paris Conservatoire (1931). His teachers included Marcel Moyse and Josef Niedermayr (flute), and Paul Dukas and Franz Schmidt (composition). As a flautist, he played with the Chicago SO (1931–43) and was the section leader of the Kansas City PO (1943–7). He was the assistant conductor of the Chicago Civic Orchestra (1933–4) and the Kansas City PO (1943–7), founded and conducted the Kansas City Allied Arts Orchestra, an ensemble emphasizing contemporary repertory, and conducted the Knoxville SO for 25 years. He also appeared as guest conductor with the New York PO, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago SO, the LPO, the Frankfurt RSO, and the symphony orchestras of Rio de Janeiro and Santiago. His academic appointments included positions at Northwestern University (...

Article

Ferruccio Bonavia

revised by Marco Beghelli

(b Padua, April 29, 1862; d Milan, Dec 13, 1945). Italian conductor, pianist and composer. He studied with Bazzini at the Milan Conservatory and developed an early interest in Wagner, whom he got to know in Palermo in 1882. He conducted Wagner’s works in Italy, giving the Italian première of Die Walküre (Turin, 1891) and the Milan première of Götterdämmerung (1896). He conducted Italian works in Moscow (1897) and in 1900 visited Buenos Aires. He retired in 1906. As a pianist he gained a fine reputation (Grieg compared him favourably with Liszt and Rubinstein). He undertook many concert tours, often accompanying his wife, the singer Anna Kribel, with whom he opened a singing school in Milan. His opera Edipo re was composed in 1893 but not performed; his two other operas, Fosca and Pamela, were not completed. His one-act operetta Lubino (Milan, Pezzana, ...