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Kazunori Sugiyama and Barry Kernfeld

[Ebisawa, Kimiko ]

(b Kagawa, Japan, July 11, 1946). Japanese singer. She took a degree in the visual arts at Musashino Fine Arts University in Tokyo and then became a film animator. In 1970 she studied jazz singing, and when the film company for which she worked dissolved she moved into music, making her professional début in 1974. She performed with the trio led by the pianist Yuzuru Sera, with Eiji Kitamura, and with George Otsuka’s trio, and, although she made a number of pop albums, first recorded in a jazz setting as a leader in 1982. In 1985 Itoh spent six months in New York, during which period she performed at the Blue Note and at Sutton’s, a lesser-known Harlem club. After returning to Japan she toured with Terumasa Hino. One of the most popular jazz singers in Japan, she was accompanied by Richard Tee, Steve Gadd, and others for performances there in ...

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Kazunori Sugiyama

[Gyeongja ]

(b Aichi, Japan, Feb 17, 1965). Korean singer. She studied piano as a child. Although she did not make her professional début as a singer until 1991, she soon came to be regarded as one of the best jazz singers in Japan, and she performs regularly in Japanese clubs. Her albums for Sony (...

Article

Jared Pauley

[Shimura, Tsutomu; (“Tom”)]

Rapper, producer, and songwriter. Shimura was born in Tokyo, Japan to Japanese and Jewish Italian American parents. His delivery is noted for incorporating multiple syllables and an extensive vocabulary. Growing up in Berkeley, California, he was a co-founder of the independent label Quannum Projects, which has released albums by Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Pigeon John, and others, including his own projects.

Early in his career, Shimura went by the name Asia Born but later changed it to Lyrics Born. His first single, “Send Them,” was released in 1993. The song was produced by DJ Shadow, and it featured the B-Side single “Entropy.” He later formed a group with Lateef the Truthspeaker called Latryx, and they released Latryx (The Album) in 1997.

Lyrics Born’s greatest commercial success as a solo artist occurred in 2003 with the release of his album Later That Day. The album featured the song “Callin’ Out,” which ended up being a surprise hit. The song was licensed by Electronic Arts for use in video games and by the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Shimura is also active as a voice-over actor, lending his voice to several shows and cartoon programs on Cartoon Network’s ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b India, 1865; d London, April 1943). British soprano. She studied in London with the younger Manuel Garcia and made her début in 1888 as Micaëla at Covent Garden, where she sang regularly until 1897. Her roles included Donna Elvira, Inès (L’Africaine), Mathilde (Guillaume Tell...

Article

I.M. Yampol′sky

(Hassan-kïzi)

(b Tbilisi, 6/April 18, 1897). Azerbaijani soprano. She studied first at the Kiev Conservatory (1917–21) with Shperling, then in Milan and Paris (1927–9). She made her début in 1921 as Violetta at the Azerbaijan State Theatre, Baku, where she sang until 1948. Mamedova was one of the founders of opera in Azerbaijan, combining European culture and technique with her characteristic national style, and her performances were noted for integrity and taste. She sang Guchokhra in Hajibeyov’s The Travelling Salesman in 1922, and created Glier’s Shakh-Senem (1934) and Mahomayev’s Nergiz (1936); she also sang Gyul’sara in Mahomayev’s Shakh Ismail in 1940. Her career took her to Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev, to France and to Iran. She organized the first drama school in Azerbaijan (1923), and published Puti razvitiya azerbaydzhanskogo muzïkal’nogo teatra (‘Paths of Development of Azerbaijani Music Theatre’, Moscow, ...

Article

Martin Bernheimer

(b Malaybalay, Mindanao, Aug 16, 1945). Filipina soprano. She studied in Manila, and at the Juilliard School with Jennie Tourel. She has specialized in lyric roles in Washington, DC (where she made her opera début as Mimì in 1969), San Francisco (where she was Inès in the 1972 revival of L’Africaine), Geneva, Rome, Amsterdam, Glyndebourne (début 1974) and Salzburg (début 1975). Her Metropolitan Opera début was on 19 December 1975 as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and she returned as Gretel. She sang Mélisande at Santa Fe in 1977, and Lisa in a televised production of The Queen of Spades; she also appeared in the American premières of Berio’s Passaggio and Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur (Jenny) and the world premières of Pasatieri’s Black Widow (Berta) and Ines de Castro (Ines). A singer of considerable refinement and charm, she is especially well cast in Mozart’s soubrette roles....

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Niigata, Japan, June 22, 1951). Japanese singer. He began singing jazz while at Waseda University in Tokyo, studied jazz singing in 1974 and guitar, under Kazumi Watanabe, in 1976, and made his professional début with the trio led by the pianist Norio Kotani in 1974. Having performed regularly with the drummer Ryojiro Furusawa, Shigeharu Mukai, and the drummer Takashi Miyasaka, he first led his own group in 1977. From 1979 he led various bands, mainly under the name Suikyoza. In 1990 he recorded with Norman Simmons’s trio in New York and performed with Jon Hendricks. Maruyama is known for his scat singing and his individual manner of vocalizing based on traditional Japanese folk singing. He composes, arranges, and writes about music, teaches and translates English, and teaches jazz theory and improvisation at Nippon University and in his own vocal schools. He should not be confused with the Shigeo Maruyama who became chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Haifa, July 2, 1949). Israeli soprano. She studied in Italy and in 1976 sang Leonora (Il trovatore) in Stockholm. She also sang Leonora with the WNO (1977) and the First Lady at Glyndebourne (1978); at Wexford (1978–9) she sang Marta (...

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Tokyo, Feb 22, 1884; d Tokyo, May 26, 1946). Japanese soprano . She made her début in 1914 singing Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana at Tokyo, and in the same year went to Europe. She studied in Germany, sang in concerts in London and elsewhere, and in 1915 was engaged to sing Butterfly in Boston. ‘Fresher, more graceful in its joy and pathos than any other’ (Q. Eaton: The Boston Opera Company, 1965, p.275), this ‘authentic’ portrayal brought her immediate fame in the USA, with Mascagni’s Iris as her best alternative role. She sang in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, returning to England for performances of Madama Butterfly under Beecham, and in 1920 appeared at Monte Carlo and in Barcelona. Other operas in her repertory were Messager’s Madame Chrysanthème and Aldo Franchetti’s Namiko-San, both of which she sang at their American premières in Chicago. She took part in various tours and also sang in Italy before returning finally to Japan in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

[Mitsuko ]

(b Manchuria, China, May 13, 1933). Japanese singer. One of the few pioneers of jazz singing in Japan, she graduated from the Nippon Music School in Tokyo and started singing at US military bases in 1953. In 1955 she joined the Gay Septet, led by the clarinetist Raymond Conde; Conde, a Filipino, led one of the most popular Japanese bands of the era. In 1973 she opened her own school in Tokyo, the Martha Miyake Vocal House. She toured widely, was frequently heard on television and radio, and performed and recorded with Teddy Wilson, Red Mitchell, Hank Jones, Lou Levy, and Conte Candoli, among others. Miyake celebrated her 45th anniversary as a professional jazz singer with a recital in 1998.

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Baku, USSR [now Azerbaijan], Dec 19, 1969). Azerbaijani pianist and singer, daughter of Vagif Mustafa-Zade. In the 1960s and 1970s both her father and her mother, the singer Eliza Khanom, strove for a synthesis of jazz and mugam, the improvised modal music of Azerbaijan. After studying classical piano at the conservatory in Baku, she moved to Germany in 1991 and began to record as a leader; among her sidemen have been Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke, Omar Hakim, Bill Evans (iii), Toot Thielemans, and Philip Catherine. Her performances typically involve a dramatic blend of jazz, mugam, and avant-garde and classical music.

(all recorded for Columbia)

CarrJ “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh,” JP, 40/6 (1991), 3 W. Minor: “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh: an Unzipped Soul,” JF...

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Megan E. Hill

(b Osaka, Japan, 1957). Jazz and blues pianist, singer, and composer of Japanese birth. She took piano lessons briefly as a child and was exposed to the blues while growing up in Osaka in the 1960s and 1970s. As a high school student, she formed the Yoko Blues Band with classmates. The band earned some success, winning first prize and a recording contract in a television-sponsored contest. In 1984 she moved to the United States to pursue a jazz and blues career in Chicago. Initially a singer, she studied piano with boogie, blues, and jazz pianist Erwin Helfer. In the early 1990s Noge established the Jazz Me Blues Band, which has played regularly in Chicago since its formation. In addition to Noge on piano and vocals, the ensemble has included Noge’s husband, Clark Dean, on soprano saxophone, saxophonist Jimmy Ellis, trombonist Bill McFarland, and bassist Tatsu Aoki. In addition to playing more conventional jazz and blues, Noge has made a name for herself through the unique compositions she has written for the group, which meld Japanese folk music styles with Chicago blues. Active in the broader Asian American community, she cofounded the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Berlin, Feb 21, 1925; d Tokyo, September 2, 2003). Japanese singer. The first Japanese jazz singer after World War II, he rose to popularity after joining the Blue Coats orchestra in 1949. He also acted and sang in films and the musical theater. In 1962 he performed with Chico Hamilton, and in ...

Article

Ken Tucker

revised by Art Menius

(b Maywood, IL, Oct 10, 1946). Americana, folk, and country singer and songwriter. His first album, John Prine (1971), included the enduring “Sam Stone,” about the plight of Vietnam veterans, and “Hello in There,” which dealt with the insensitive treatment of elderly people. The recording brought him critical acclaim and an enthusiastic cult following but little mainstream success, a pattern that has continued since. Starting with 1975’s Common Sense, he has explored country, rock, and rockabilly as platforms for his prolific compositions and often surprising covers. Prine’s lyrics mix the topical with the surreal, often portraying ordinary people attempting to deal with extraordinary times in absurd, humorous, or painfully sad ways. His songs have been recorded by performers as diverse as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Norah Jones, Jim & Jesse, and Bette Midler. A 2010 album featured popular young artists such as the Avett Brothers covering Prine compositions....

Article

Gayle Murchison

(b Bombay [Mumbai], India, c1947). Indian singer and actress. From an affluent family, Puthli attended college in Mumbai. After studying Indian classical music and dance and Western opera as a youth, she began singing jazz and pop with local bands at age 13 and made her first recording in 1968. She met author Ved Mehta, who wrote about her in Portrait of India (New York, 1970). She appeared in two films by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, The Guru (1969) and Savages (1972). A dance scholarship from the Martha Graham Company brought her in that same year to New York, where Mehta introduced her to CBS executive John Hammond. In 1972 she recorded two critically acclaimed tracks for Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction album. She recorded two pop and two disco albums of her own for CBS (1973–6) and a disco album for the TK label in ...

Article

Val Wilmer

[Theresa; Naa-koshie]

(b Bodmin, England, Nov 8, 1940). English singer, pianist, and percussionist, daughter of Cab Kaye. She began singing professionally in 1962 with the Latin jazz band led by the Filipino pianist and vibraphonist Ido Martin, then sang with the pianists Colin Purbrook, Leon Cohen, and Brian Lemon (with John Stevens on drums). Following a nightclub residency with the Guyanese singer and percussionist Frank Holder she joined a Trinidadian band, the Merrymakers, in Germany. She continued to alternate nightclub work with jazz, playing congas and singing. In Berlin she worked with Carmell Jones, Dave Pike, and Leo Wright. Quaye traveled to Ghana, and in Paris she played with the Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango. At this point she reclaimed her Ga name Naa-koshie, which she used professionally for some years. In New York in the early 1970s she played congas for Syvilla Forte’s dance troupe, sang with Harold Mabern, Jiunie Booth, Richard Davis, and Art “Shaki” Lewis, took part in jam sessions with Billy Higgins and others, and recorded on congas with Archie Shepp (...

Article

Guillermo I. Olliver and Rainer E. Lotz

[Mike; Muhiddin, Ahmed]

(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], Sept 24, 1905). Argentine bandleader, banjoist, guitarist, and singer of Turkish birth. While attending the University of Michigan he played banjo under the name Ahmed Muhiddin in student bands (1924–31) and in an orchestra led by Jean Goldkette (1927). He worked as a newspaper correspondent in Uruguay and at the same time played in and around Montevideo in a trio led by the pianist Luis Rolero, with which he later moved to Buenos Aires; after this group disbanded in 1934 he joined the Dixie Pals, led by the violinist Paul Wyer, with which he recorded several tracks for Victor, including a version of his own composition Africa (1934, 37642). From 1936 to the early 1940s he played with the pianist Rene Cospito and his Orquesta Argentina de Jazz, with the drummer Mario D’Alo’s Rhythm Kings, and in a group modeled after the Quintette du Hot Club de France that included Hernán Oliva (violin), Dave Washington (second guitar), and Louis Vola (double bass). In the late 1930s, by which time he had taken the name Ahmed Ratip, he studied harmony with the bandleader Russ Goudy. Early in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Liegnitz, Nov 22, 1921; d Heidelberg, Jan 15, 1989). Israeli bass of German birth. He studied in Berlin and Mannheim, making his début in 1961 at Gelsenkirchen as Iago. Engaged at Stuttgart, he sang regularly at Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin, where he created Soroker in Blacher’s 200 000 Taler (1969). Though his vast repertory included Don Alfonso and Hans Sachs, he specialized in 20th-century opera; he sang Dallapiccola’s Ulysses, Morone (Palestrina), Duke Adorno (Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten), Busoni’s Faust, Satan (Penderecki’s Paradise Lost), Reimann’s Lear and Schoenberg’s Moses (he has twice recorded the role of Moses). He created Löwel Perl in Penderecki’s Schwarze Maske at Salzburg (1986). The role that best displayed his outstanding musical and dramatic gifts was Dr Schön in Lulu, which he sang at Covent Garden (1981), at the Teatro Real in Madrid (...

Article

Dave Laing

[Webb, Harry Rodger]

(b Lucknow, India, Oct 14, 1940). British pop singer. He came to prominence as Britain's equivalent to Elvis Presley, recording some creditable rock and roll performances such as Move It and Lionel Bart's Livin' Doll. By the early 1960s he settled into a more comfortable beat ballad style, achieving numerous hits with melodic numbers like Theme for a Dream, Gee Whiz it's You, Bachelor Boy, The Young Ones and Summer Holiday. The last two were theme songs from films aimed at the youth market in which Richard starred. On most of these records he was accompanied by the Shadows. Although he no longer dominated the British popular music scene after the early 1960s, he continued to give concerts and to release new recordings with occasional hits such as Congratulations, We Don't Talk Anymore (composed and produced in 1979 by Alan Tarney) and the Christmas song Mistletoe and Wine...

Article

Kimberly McCord

(b Bucharest, Dec 14, 1946). Romanian singer. She studied violin and voice and attended the conservatory in Bucharest (1965–7); in 1965 she toured the USSR, Poland, and Israel with Janos Kőrössi’s trio. From 1966 to 1969 she performed with the Bucharest Jazz Quintet, and in 1971 she recorded as its leader. Having married the group’s drummer, Ron Rully, she moved with him to Canada. She performed with Duke Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972, then worked in Europe with Art Farmer and Slide Hampton; around 1973–4 she made further recordings as a leader. After working in Canada with Gene DiNovi (1974) and touring the USA and Japan with Quincy Jones she performed with the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Orchestra, and in 1977, in Sweden, she recorded the album Thad and Aura (Four Leaf Clover 5020) with Jones. Nothing is known of her career after the late 1970s. Rully had a pure, full tone, which rose to piercing intensity when she was scat singing....