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Gary W. Kennedy

(b San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept 7, 1965). Virgin Island tenor and soprano saxophonist. He grew up in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; his parents are also Virgin Islanders. He took up guitar when he was eight and played alto saxophone in school bands from the age of ten. In 1979 he attended a music camp in Interlochen, Michigan, and began learning classical saxophone privately. The following year he left St. Thomas and enrolled at the Interlochen Academy of the Arts; he later attended Northwestern University. In 1987 Blake made his début in Chicago and appeared at a jazz festival in St. Thomas with a group of local musicians. Later that year he returned to Chicago to pursue a career in jazz. He took up tenor saxophone and participated in jam sessions, and in 1988 he worked with Bobby Broom; he then led his own trio and performed with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. After studying at the University of South Florida in Tampa (...

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Mark Miller

(b London, Dec 8, 1970). Canadian tenor and soprano saxophonist of English birth. He was brought up in Vancouver and studied saxophone there, then attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston (1988–92), where his teachers included George Garzone and Joe Viola. He made his recording début with Victor Lewis while still at Berklee and continued to work with the drummer after moving in 1992 to New York. Blake joined the Mingus Big Band in 1995 and toured with John Scofield (1996–7). He has also toured or recorded with Franco Ambrosetti, the pianists Darrell Grant, George Gruntz, Kevin Hays, and John Stetch, and the drummers Billy Drummond, Owen Howard, and Bill Stewart. On his own, Blake has explored electronics as well as funk and rock rhythms with the Bloomdaddies, a quintet formed in 1993 and comprising the tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek, the bass player Jesse Murphy, and the drummers Jorge Rossy and Dan Reiser. Blake’s playing is broadly based, its various strains bound together by their overriding and often highly original melodic orientation....

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Frank Driggs

revised by Howard Rye

[Andrew ]

(b Quitman, MS, June 10, 1898; d Baldwin Park, CA, Feb 12, 1992). American trumpeter and bandleader. In 1979 he moved to Chicago and two years later became involved in music; he studied with W. L. Jackson (Erskine Tate’s stepfather). He played his first job on Labor Day 1922, in Gary, Indiana, with, among others, Lester Boone. He then worked for the pianist Glover Compton and Doc Cook, rehearsed with Jelly Roll Morton (1925), and spent two weeks with King Oliver at the Plantation, replacing Tommy Ladnier when the latter went to Europe, until Bob Shoffner could join. After returning to Cook he led a band for six weeks at the Charleston Café (late 1925). Having accepted an invitation to travel to Los Angeles to join the Sunnyland Band, directed by Buster Wilson, he arrived at Thanksgiving (presumably 1925 rather than 1926), but very soon left and worked for the violinist and saxophonist Johnny Mitchell in a band that included Lionel Hampton and Les Hite. In ...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(b Portland, OR, Dec 9, 1952). American trumpeter. He was classically trained and first performed professionally in 1970 on the West Coast. In 1983 he moved to Dallas, where he taught in the public schools, recorded, and performed locally, both as a leader and with Dennis Gonzalez’s collective groups; he later wrote arrangements for and recorded in London (1987) as a member of Gonzalez’s Dallas–London sextet, which included Louis Moholo and Elton Dean among its other sidemen. Blakeslee made his first appearance with Vinny Golia in Texas in 1985. While living in Portland (from 1988) he taught jazz at Oregon State University in Corvallis (1988–96) and co-founded the Cre-ative Music Guild (1996), serving as its president (to 1998). In addition he performed with Anthony Braxton (recording in January 1989), Michael Bisio and Oliver Lake (both 1990), Golia (from ...

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A. Dean Palmer

(b Oberlin, oh, Nov 2, 1883; d San Luis Obispo, ca, March 9, 1972). American composer. After completing basic studies in Oberlin and Denver, he received the bachelor’s degree in music at Pomona College, Claremont, California, in 1908. In 1916 he joined the music faculty at Chaffey College, Ontario, California, where he remained until his retirement in 1954. Blakeslee’s only opera, The Legend of Wiwaste [Wewahste], based on a Dakota Sioux legend dealing with tribal customs of betrothal and marriage before the coming of the white man, is cast in late 19th-century Romantic style and reflects in its large orchestral resources the influence of Puccini and Wagner. It also embodies many characteristics of American Indian music: Indian melodies, rhythmic figures inspired by Indian drumming patterns, choruses in parallel octaves, pentatonic scales and orchestral accompaniment in open 4ths and 5ths. First performed in Ontario, California, on 25 April 1924...

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Lewis Porter

[Abdullah ibn, Buhaina]

(b Pittsburgh, Oct 11, 1919; d New York, Oct 16, 1990). American jazz drummer and bandleader. By the time he was a teenager he was playing the piano full-time, leading a commercial band. Shortly afterwards he taught himself to play the drums in the aggressive swing style of Chick Webb, Sid Catlett and Ray Bauduc, and he joined Mary Lou Williams as a drummer for an engagement in New York in autumn 1942. He then toured with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra (1943–4). During his years with Billy Eckstine’s big band (1944–7) Blakey became associated with the modern-jazz movement, along with his fellow band members Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Fats Navarro and others.

In 1947 Blakey organized the Seventeen Messengers, a rehearsal band, and recorded with an octet called the Jazz Messengers. He then travelled in Africa, probably for more than a year, to learn about Islamic culture. In the early 1950s he performed and broadcast with such musicians as Charlie Parker, Davis and Clifford Brown, and particularly with Horace Silver, his kindred musical spirit of this time. Blakey and Silver recorded together on several occasions, including the album ...

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André Tubeuf

revised by Alan Blyth

(b Sanary-sur-Mer, Nov 1, 1923; d December 22, 2010). French baritone. A student at the conservatories in Toulon and Paris, he made his début in Marseilles as Tonio (1950). At the Paris Opéra (1954–80) he sang a wide variety of roles including Rigoletto, Theogène (which he sang in the première of Barraud’s Numance, 1955), Valentin, Amonasro, Germont, Renato, Wolfram, Enrico Ashton, Michele (Il tabarro) and Andrey Shchelkalov. His large, well-focussed, sensuous voice was soon heard in Milan, Vienna and London, but the turning-point of his career came in 1958, when he sang a remarkable Telramund at Bayreuth (a recording of the occasion reveals that his German declamation was as clear and determined as his French). He made his American début in 1959 at Chicago as Escamillo (a role he recorded, in aptly swaggering fashion, for Beecham) and his British début in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Lessebo, July 10, 1939). Swedish tenor . He studied in Stockholm, making his début in 1962 as a baritone at Göteborg. He made his tenor début in 1967 as Grigory at the Royal Opera, Stockholm. He created Martin in Braein’s Anne Pedersdottor (1971, Oslo) and the Narrator in Werle’s Tintomara (1973, Stockholm). His repertory included Florestan, Siegmund, Don José, Hermann (The Queen of Spades), Cavaradossi and Števa (Jenůfa), which he sang at the 1974 Edinburgh Festival. The bright timbre of his voice enabled him to sing lyric as well as dramatic roles, while a compelling stage presence brought him success as Jimmy Mahoney in Weill’s Mahagonny, Gustavus III in the Swedish version of Un ballo in maschera and the King in G. J. Vogler’s Gustaf Adolf och Ebba Brahe (1973, Drottningholm). In 1986 he became artistic director of the Municipal Theatre of Malmö....

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Angel Medina

(b La Garriga, Barcelona, 1928). Spanish conductor and composer, the son of Manuel Blancafort. Among Alberto's teachers was Nadia Boulanger. He participated in the emergence of the Spanish avant garde through belonging to the Falla Circle and was one of the founders of the Grupo Nueva Música (Madrid, 1958). His emergence as a composer was early and successful, his Piano Sonata (1955) receiving good reviews; however, his subsequent production was scant and irregular. Among his most memorable works are the Concertino de camera (1945) and the Sinfonietta coral (1981). He has written a number of arrangements and harmonizations, of choral music in particular, all highly functional, treated with perfect technique and a balanced sense of modernity.

As a conductor Blancafort devoted much time to working with choirs, including the Capilla Polifonica Ciudad de Oviedo and the Spanish Radio and Television Choir. He later tackled orchestral conducting with groups such as the Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim (Germany)....

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A. Menéndez Aleyxandre

revised by Antoni Pizà

(b La Garriga, Barcelona, Aug 12, 1897; d Jan 8, 1987). Spanish composer. Although he was mainly self-taught, he had early lessons with his father, a pianist and composer, and then studied analysis, form and orchestration with Lamote de Grignon. From the age of 20 he travelled throughout Europe and America as a representative for the Victoria piano-roll company, which his father had founded in 1910, and he was music director of the firm from 1917 to 1931, thus coming into contact with music of many different styles and periods. Around 1914 he had been initiated, through his friend Mompou, to the work of the French Impressionists and Stravinsky, and during the course of his travels he came to know many of the young composers of France and Italy. His own music became better known after the première of the piano suite El parc d’atraccions, given by Viñes in Paris in ...

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(b Pernes-les-Fontaines, Feb 28, 1696, d Versailles, April 10, 1770). French composer. The son of a doctor, he joined the choir school at the cathedral of St Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence, at the age of eight. His teacher was Poitevin, who had also taught Gilles, Campra and Pellegrin. He was dismissed in 1715 and in 1717 was appointed maître de musique of St Victor, Marseilles. Between 1720 and 1721 he spent a few months at Toulon Cathedral, and in 1732 he became maître de musique of Besançon Cathedral, where Rousseau sought lessons from him. At this time he was connected with the Concert Spirituel, where his motet Cantate Domino … quia mirabilia was performed in 1732. On 31 March 1734 he was appointed to Amiens Cathedral, while maintaining contact with Paris. According to Giberti the motet Laudate Dominum quoniam bonus was performed before the king in 1737, ‘thanks to the friendship of Campra’, whom Blanchard had met during the period ...

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Hugh Macdonald

(b Bordeaux, ?April 1791; d Paris, Dec 18, 1858). French violinist, composer, dramatist and critic. His date of birth, given as 7 February 1778 in all reference works since Fétis, is contradicted by Blanchard himself in the Revue et gazette musicale (21 January 1838). He was a pupil of Franz Beck in Bordeaux and of Kreutzer (violin), Méhul and Reicha (composition) in Paris. In 1815 he wrote the words and music of a pantomime, Clarisse et Lovelace, and was conductor at the Théâtre des Variétés from 1818 until 1829. There he came into contact with the leading actors and entertainers of the day, and composed a large quantity of vaudeville airs, some of which, for example Tra la la and Guernadier, que tu m’affliges, enjoyed immense popularity. In 1830 he became director of the Théâtre Molière, where a series of his plays appeared, one of which, ...

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Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

revised by Philip J. Kass

(b Mirecourt, France, Feb 10, 1851; d Lyons, France, 1912). French violin maker. He was apprenticed in Mirecourt to Auguste Darte, a pupil of Vuillaume, in 1865; thereafter, he worked for a number of shops, including those of Daniel in Marseilles and, after 1869, that of Hippolyte-Chrétien Silvestre in Lyons. He opened his own workshop there in 1876, producing instruments in the style of Silvestre for the next decade. From 1885 his instruments, on the Stradivari or Guarneri models, were coated with a transparent, golden-red varnish of excellent composition. Showing fastidious workmanship, his violins are of handsome wood. He received awards in the Paris expositions of 1889 and 1900 and in the Lyons Exposition of 1894. He used three labels: a printed label with a decorative border for his own work; a similar one for workshop productions that noted ‘Fait dans l’atelier’; and a third for commercial instruments that prominently displayed the word LVGDVNVM....

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Matthew Alan Thomas

(Oliver)

(b New Orleans, 13 March 1962). American trumpeter and film composer. He began piano lessons at the age of five and switched to the trumpet in 1970. While enrolled at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (from 1978), he met the saxophonist Donald Harrison. In 1980 he won a music scholarship to Rutgers University and toured with Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra. Two years later he and Harrison replaced Wynton and Branford Marsalis in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Following the success of their joint album New York Second Line (1984, Concord), they left the group in 1986. Blanchard began collaborating with the filmmaker Spike Lee when he was invited to play on the soundtrack of School Daze in 1988, and he subsequently performed on Do the Right Thing in 1989. That year Blanchard curtailed his recording and performing in order to develop a new embouchure. After composing the score for Lee’s ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

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Frank Dobbins

(fl c1556). French composer. He was one of the ‘bons et scavantz musiciens’ who contributed nine works to two anthologies of four-voice chansons published by Michel Fezandat at Paris in 1556 (RISM 1556²0 and 1556²¹). Most of these chansons are settings of simple rustic poems in popular vein but they also include Ronsard’s ...

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William R. Dowd

revised by John Koster

French family of harpsichord and piano makers, active from the end of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th. A Nicolas Blanchet, master instrument maker, worked in Paris in the first half of the 17th century, but his relationship to the later family is unknown. The founder of the family firm was Nicolas Blanchet (b Reims, c1660; d Paris, 1731); it is not known where or to whom he was apprenticed, but he was in Paris at the rue des Fosses St Germain when he married in 1686. He was admitted to the guild as a master in 1689 and prospered during the next few years judging by his surviving instruments and guild position. In 1717 he moved to rue St Germain l’Auxerrois. His second son, François-Etienne Blanchet (i) (b Paris, c1700; d Paris, 1761), became a full partner with his father in ...

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Charles Hopkins

(b Lausanne, July 17, 1877; d Pully, nr Lausanne, March 27, 1943). Swiss pianist and composer. After early studies with his father, the organist Charles Blanchet (1833–1900), and then with his mother, Marie Schnyder, an excellent pianist, Blanchet attended the Cologne Conservatory from the age of 18, where his teachers included Gustave Jensen for harmony and counterpoint, Friedrich Wilhelm Frankel and Seiss. In 1898 he left Cologne for Berlin, and subsequently Weimar, to study with Busoni, whose influence was to prove pivotal to Blanchet's future development. At 25 he made his début with the Berlin PO, after which he appeared throughout Germany and elsewhere, including a tour of Switzerland as accompanist to the violinist Henri Gerber. In 1905 he became director of the Lausanne Conservatoire, a position he relinquished in 1908 in order to concentrate more on teaching and composition. In 1909 he was awarded first prize for his ...

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Mary Cyr

(b Tournon, Sept 10, 1724; d Paris, 1778). French writer. He was the author of a treatise on singing entitled L'art ou les principes philosophiques du chant (Paris, 1756). He was not a musician; he referred to himself as ‘un homme de lettres amateur’. His work is largely concerned with physical aspects of singing, such as sound production and breathing, based upon the earlier work of a physician and anatomist, Antoine Ferrein (De la formation de la voix de l'homme, Paris, 1741). In a lengthy preface he accused the author of L’art du chant (Paris, 1755), Jean-Antoine Bérard, of incorporating his material, and listed corrections to Bérard's work. The two treatises include many passages which are nearly identical (particularly the first and third chapters, ‘La voix considérée par rapport au chant’ and ‘La formation de la voix’), but La Borde discounted the accusation, criticizing Blanchet's work for its ‘balourdises’....