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(b St Helier, Jersey, c1860; d London, March 19, 1931). British conductor and orchestrator. He conducted and orchestrated many musical theatre scores of the Edwardian era, most particularly Miss Hook of Holland and other scores of Paul A. Rubens at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Eric Coates, who performed under him as a deputy, described his ‘remarkable sense of theatre’ and orchestrations ‘delicately finished and always in good taste … never [interfering] with a composer’s harmonic progressions’. His later work included orchestrations for Porter’s ...

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Guy Bourligueux

(Domingo)

(b Badajoz, Feb 7, 1825; d Madrid, March 12, 1877). Spanish composer and conductor. He studied singing and the piano with his father and taught himself the horn, the oboe and other instruments. He had no formal harmony or counterpoint lessons, but arranged some of the works of Haydn and Mozart for the flute, oboe, clarinet and cornet. In 1844 he went to Madrid, where he became the protégé of the Madrid writer Ramón de Mesonero Romanos (1803–82) and the friend of Baltasar Saldoni, who, as director of the Teatro Español, gave the premières of some of his symphonic works. He became known as a pianist, and for the next two or three years wrote songs and fantasias and other music for the piano, which he included in his concerts. His greatest success with the public came, however, from his zarzuelas. His first, La venta del puerto, o Juanillo el contrabandista...

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Lise Waxer

[Edward]

(b East Harlem, New York, Dec 15, 1936). American pianist, percussionist, bandleader, composer and arranger. Following his older brother Charlie, he took up the piano when he was eight, but at 13 he began playing the timbales in his uncle’s band, Chino y sus Almas Tropicales. Returning to the piano in 1951, he formed a nine-piece band with timbalero Joey Quijano. He replaced his brother Charlie in Johnny Segui’s band in 1955, then joined Tito Rodríguez in 1958. In 1961 he formed the ensemble La Perfecta. Modifying the flute-and-violin charanga format popular at the time, Palmieri used trombones in place of violins and coined the ‘trombanga’ sound that became his trademark and influenced later salsa bands. In his band were such leading musicians as the timbalero Manny Oquendo, the trombonist Barry Rogers and the vocalist Ismael Quintana. Complementing the group’s dynamic swing, Palmieri forged a percussive piano style, incorporating modal jazz influences from contemporary pianist McCoy Tyner. Among his representative tunes from this period are ...

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Alyn Shipton

(b Leamington Spa, Aug 22, 1899; d Tonbridge, Dec 4, 1969). English pianist and dance bandleader. He formed his first band during his World War I service in the Royal Flying Corps, and subsequently led his own small jazz group, in which he played piano. He worked in various Birmingham bands until moving to London in 1925, where he took over the band at the Hotel Cecil. He broadcast with this group from 1925, and recorded from 1927, ultimately enlarging it to ten players, and becoming conductor and singer himself, with Bob Busby as pianist. In 1928, as Director of Dance Music, he took over the BBC Dance Orchestra, with whom he broadcast almost daily, and made numerous recordings for Columbia. The orchestra also undertook theatrical bookings after appearing at the London Palladium in 1930, changing its name in the process to Jack Payne and His Orchestra. Like Jack Hylton, Payne was one of the first bandleaders to acquire popularity through broadcasting, and on leaving the BBC in ...

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Nevil Skrimshire

revised by Alyn Shipton

[Simon]

(b London, June 14, 1907; d Chertsey, May 23, 1973). English jazz clarinettist, bandleader and arranger. He studied the violin and piano as a child and taught himself theory and harmony. In his late teens he began playing the saxophone and the clarinet and performed with his brothers’ band in Europe. He worked as a staff arranger for a music publisher and as a music director for the Edison-Bell Gramophone Co. From 1930 he wrote arrangements for Bert Ambrose and led his own quintet. Later he joined Ambrose’s band (1933), with which he recorded on clarinet and alto and baritone saxophones (1933–7). In 1937 Phillips visited the USA, where he broadcast and recorded with American musicians. After serving in the RAF he formed another quintet (1946) and composed several symphonic works for the BBC SO (as Simon Phillips). From 1949 until his death he led his own dixieland band; among his sidemen were George Shearing, Colin Bailey, Tommy Whittle and Kenny Ball. Phillips made several recordings as a leader from ...

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Gerard Béhague

[Vianna Filho, Alfredo da Rocha ]

(b Rio de Janeiro, April 23, 1897/8; d Rio de Janeiro, Feb 17, 1973). Brazilian composer, flautist, saxophonist, arranger and bandleader. His father was an amateur flute player and cultivator of the old choro. Around the age of ten Pixinguinha played the cavaquinho and accompanied his father, who also taught him the flute. He participated in carnival band parades (1911–12), played in night clubs and in the orchestra of the Rio Branco cinema, specializing in musical comedies and operettas. His talents as a flautist were widely recognized and through this he formed his first significant group, Os Oito Batutas, with other important musicians of the period, such as Donga, China and Nelson Alves. Originally including flute, three guitars, singer, cavaquinho, mandoline, tambourine, reco-reco and ganzá, they were presented at the Cinema Palais in 1919 with a typically national repertory that included waltzes, polkas, tangos, maxixes...

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Lise Waxer

[Prado, Pérez]

(b Matanzas, Dec 11, 1916; d Mexico City, Sept 14, 1989). Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. After a formal musical training in Matanzas he moved to Havana in the early 1940s, where he played the piano and arranged for the orchestra of Paulina Alvarez (1942) and the well-known Orquesta Casino de la Playa (1943–6). His growing incorporation of big band jazz influences was not well received, and he left Cuba in 1947, settling in Mexico City the following year. Establishing a mambo big band, he made several recordings through the next decade, including his famous Mambo No.5 and Qué rico el mambo. While often criticized for falsely claiming to have invented the mambo, his popularization of this genre in mainstream North America is undisputable, and his recordings of Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (1955) and Patricia (1958) made it to the top of the US charts for several weeks....

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Andrew Lamb

(Whitecross)

(b Prestonpans, Jan 28, 1898; d Midhurst, Sept 7, 1970). Scottish orchestrator, conductor and composer. A violin student of William Waddell, he conducted the Edinburgh University Choral and Orchestral Society and composed and orchestrated music for university revues while graduating in music under Donald Tovey. He became musical director at the Gaiety and other West End theatres, providing orchestrations for musical comedies such as Harold Fraser-Simson's Betty in Mayfair (1925), Vivian Ellis's Streamline (1934), Jill Darling! (1934) and Big Ben (1946), and Noel Coward's Conversation Piece (1934) and Operette (1938). Shows for which he was musical director included Jerome Kern's Blue Eyes (1928), and then in 1932 he became musical director at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where he conducted and orchestrated Ivor Novello's Glamorous Night (1935), Careless Rapture (1936), ...

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Lise Waxer

(b New York City, April 20, 1923; d New York City, May 31, 2000). American percussionist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He began performing with Los Happy Boys and other local bands as a child prodigy, and as a teenager played with Noro Morales and Machito. Following wartime service in the US Navy (...

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Simon Collier

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 2, 1905; d Buenos Aires, July 24, 1995). Argentine tango pianist, bandleader and composer. Trained at a private conservatory in Buenos Aires, he started as a cinema pianist but soon found a place in tango bands, including those of Roberto Firpo, Pedro Maffia, and Pedro Laurenz. After 1929 he jointly led the Vardaro-Pugliese Sextet, one of the most distinguished ensembles of the 1930s, and only in late 1939 did he form his own first band, which made the first of its more than 600 recordings in 1943. His own virtuosic piano skills contributed much to his band, whose sophisticated arrangements pushed the ‘evolutionist’ trend in tango music to its limits: Pugliese has been aptly described as the Wagner of the tango. The band toured to the Soviet Union and China (1960), to Mexico and Cuba (1981) and to Japan (...