(b New York, Feb 11, 1928). American trombonist, bandleader, and actor. In his early teens, while under contract to 20th-Century Fox, he began playing the trombone after hearing Kid Ory. He started his first band, the Tailgate Jazz Band, in Los Angeles in 1949 and promptly won Record Changer magazine’s International Jazz Band Contest; the first prize was a trip to New York and a recording date for the Record Changer. His initial commercial recordings (Conrad Janis’s Tailgate Jazz Band, 1950, Cir. [USA] 404) appeared a year later on the Circle (i) label, operated by his mother, Harriet Janis, and Rudi Blesh, and are among the early jazz issues on LP. He remained in New York and led bands at Central Plaza, Eddie Condon’s, Jimmy Ryan’s, Nick’s, the Metropole, and other such venues with such notable sidemen as Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Wild Bill Davison, James P. Johnson, and Willie “the Lion” Smith. Janis took part in a few further recording sessions in the early 1950s. He has appeared as a musician in more than 30 network television dramas, in eight Carnegie Hall concerts, and in scores of Broadway plays and Hollywood films. His Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band recorded in ...
Richard G. King
(b Bilbao, July 19, 1795; d London, Sept 20, 1867). English violinist, composer, actor and playwright. According to Sainsbury (the source from which all other biographies derive), Lacy was a child prodigy who performed in public at the age of six a concerto by Giornovichi. He was educated at Bordeaux (1802) and Paris (1803), where he studied with Kreutzer. About the end of 1804 he performed for Napoleon. He played in the Netherlands on his way to London, which he reached in October 1805. His musical and linguistic skills earned him much success there: his first concert at the Hanover Square Rooms was given under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. In 1807 Lacy was in Dublin, performing with Catalini; he then moved on to Edinburgh, where he was engaged for Corri's concerts. Some time after that he left music for the theatre, acting in Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In ...
[Koch, Lydia Anne ]
(b Rochester, NY, June 2, 1959). American singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, poet, and performance artist. Lydia Lunch arrived in New York City as a teenage runaway in 1976, after a childhood of chaos, abuse, and extreme neglect. Motivated by the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and the incendiary writing of Lester Bangs in Creem magazine, Lunch formed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks in 1977. The group (which briefly included James Chance) released only a handful of singles and EPs before breaking up in 1979, but Lunch had established herself as an uncompromising purveyor of a brutal, confronting, violently sexual, and bleak artistic vision. She is considered to be a founder of No Wave, an abrasive, untutored form of noise-based punk music that was often politically charged and musically experimental. No wave often involved conventional instruments (guitar, bass, electronic keyboards) used as extreme noise-making devices to create discomforting, visceral sounds—Lunch regularly used electric guitar with a slide in this manner to piercing, abrasive effect. Lunch released her first solo album, ...
[Hall, Marcel Theo]
(b Harlem, New York; April 8, 1964).
American rapper, beatboxer, MC, DJ, and actor. He began his career in 1985 as a beatboxer for Roxanne Shanté of the Juice Crew. In 1988, he signed with Cold Chillin’ Records and released his first solo album, Goin’ Off. His second album, The Biz Never Sleeps (1989), went gold and included his first Top Ten hit, “Just a Friend,” which peaked at number nine on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart. The single, Markie’s biggest hit to-date, features the self-deprecating and satirical humor that won him the title “Clown Prince of Hip Hop.” Besides “Just a Friend,” he is also well known for the controversy surrounding a 1991 lawsuit leveled against him by singer/songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan. Markie’s song “Alone Again,” from his album I Need a Haircut (1991), featured an unauthorized sample of O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally).” The case featured the first federal decision regarding music sampling and had a profound effect on hip hop, requiring prior approval of samples on future recordings. An injunction was issued against the sale of ...
(b Calgary, March 4, 1937). Canadian composer, pianist and performance artist. After studying with Gladys Egbert in Calgary and Boris Roubakine in Banff and Toronto, she settled in Winnipeg in 1959. She undertook further studies with Alma Brock-Smith, Leonard Isaacs, Peter Clements and Michael Colgrass in Canada, and with Adele Marcus in the USA. In 1972 she graduated with the BMus from the University of Manitoba. A champion of Canadian contemporary music, she founded in 1976 the Winnipeg-based Music Inter Alia, western Canada’s first contemporary music series. She served as artistic director of the series until 1991. Also active as a performer, she has given many première performances of Canadian works.
McIntosh’s compositions frequently employ multi-media; music, video, slides, electronic tapes, mouth sounds, dialogue and movement all become part of her artistic expression. Eliptosonics (1979), Glorified Chicken Mousse (1984) and Process Piece (1988...
(b Little Rock, AR, Nov 18, 1933; d New York, Nov 8, 1991). American cellist and performance artist. She studied at Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana (BM 1955), and the University of Texas at Austin (1956–7), where she was a cello pupil of Horace Britt. In 1957–8 she began studying with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. She played in the Boccherini Players (1958–63) and the American SO (until 1967). Influenced by Yoko Ono, a close friend, in 1963 she founded the annual New York Avant Garde Festival, and in 1964 collaborated for the first time with the composer and video and performance artist Nam June Paik. They interpreted and collaborated on a large number of works diverse in aim, from the Cello Sonata no.1 for Adults Only (1965), in which music is associated with sex and violence, to Global Grove...
( b East Tupelo, MS, Jan 8, 1935; d Memphis, Aug 16, 1977). American rock and roll singer, guitarist and actor . As the most successful artist of the mid-1950s rock and roll explosion, Presley had a profound impact on popular music. His sense of style, musical and personal, was both the focal point of the media reaction to early rock and roll and the inspiration for many of the most important rock musicians to follow. The narrative of his meteoric rise and subsequent decline amidst mysterious and tawdry circumstances fuelled many myths both during his life and after his death at 42....
[Hubbard, Jerry Reed ]
(b Atlanta, GA, March 20, 1937; d Nashville, TN, Sept 1, 2008). American guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and actor. He grew up in a family split by divorce and poverty. At age seven he gravitated to guitar and became enamored of the fingerstyle playing of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. As a teenager, he played country music in the Atlanta area and took the professional name Jerry Reed after signing with Capitol Records in 1954. His records did not sell many copies, but Capitol rockabilly star Gene Vincent made Reed’s composition “Crazy Legs” a staple of his repertoire. In the early 1960s, though Reed’s recordings failed to sell, stars including Brenda Lee and Porter Wagoner began recording his songs. By then, he was a Nashville session guitarist. He developed a new and unorthodox approach to Travis-Atkins fingerstyle playing involving the use of the right-hand thumb and all four fingers. Chet Atkins began recording Reed instrumentals and later adapted aspects of Reed’s unique style to his own playing. In ...
(b Straloch, Perthshire, Feb 13, 1721; d London, Feb 6, 1807). Scottish composer, flautist and musical benefactor. He studied law at Edinburgh University and in 1745 joined the British army as a lieutenant; he was active in Scotland in the Jacobite Rebellion (1745–6), in Flanders (1747–8) and in North America (1756–67). In 1770 he retired from the army, intending to settle in New York State, but this plan was upset by the War of Independence; he returned to the army in 1780 and was promoted to the rank of general in his old age.
Reid’s flute-playing was renowned in Edinburgh and London salons. He wrote 12 flute sonatas, the melodic invention and security of construction of which are remarkable for a part-time composer. Some are English in style (e.g. no.3 of the 1762 set, which ends with a fast 3/4 air similar to some of Purcell’s theatre songs), others Scottish (e.g. no.2 of the same set, the slow movement of which has gapped-scale melodies and Scotch snaps, and which ends with a 6/8 jig). His use of different regional styles was probably learnt from James Oswald, who, as well as being a prominent composer, was Reid’s publisher. Reid’s marches, dedicated to various army regiments, are vividly coloured by Scottish idioms. The most famous is the ...
(b Rio de Janeiro, Nov 21, 1961). Brazilian composer, pianist, arranger, actor and theatre author. He studied music theory and piano at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1976–8), then at the Villa-Lobos School, where he also studied counterpoint, arranging and composition with Koellreutter (1979–83). He earned his bachelor's degree in music at the University of Rio de Janeiro (1983). In 1979 he won the first prize in the composition competition sponsored by the Villa-Lobos School and the School of the Brazil SO. Until then he had worked as an arranger and pianist of popular music, but he now turned his attention to theatre music, working as composer and musical director in more than 50 productions. In 1983 he received the Mambembe Prize for the music of the plays Will and A porta.
Rescala participated in various festivals of contemporary music in Brazil and other countries, including that of the American Composers' Orchestral Festival, Sonidos de las Américas (...