1-14 of 14 results  for:

Clear all

Article

Kevin Whitehead

(b Durban, South Africa, June 29, 1948). South African tenor and alto saxophonist and bandleader. He played guitar from the age of 12, took up clarinet when he was 17, and changed to tenor saxophone a year later. Playing either the tenor or the alto instrument he worked in pop and blues bands in Cape Town and Durban and in jazz groups with the drummer Dick Xhosa and Pat Matshikiza, among others. He left South Africa in 1973 and spent one year in London and another in Ann Arbor, Michigan, working with theater troupes. One such troupe took him in 1975 to Amsterdam, where he settled. In the late 1970s he worked with Theo Loevendie, Burton Greene, Tristan Honsinger, Ernst Reijseger, and Misha Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra. Bergin moved to Tuscany in 1980 and worked for a year with Honsinger, who remains a frequent collaborator in the Netherlands, where the two men perform in various combinations (sometimes including dancers), fluidly mixing verbal and musical improvisation. In the 1980s Bergin also recorded with Harry Miller, the tenor saxophonist J. C. Tans, and Barry Altschul. He has frequently run workshops and jam sessions in Amsterdam, and, along with Miller, he has helped infuse jazz there with a South African strain – tuneful and harmonically straightforward. In ...

Article

Christopher Fifield

revised by R. Allen Lott

(b Dresden, Germany, Jan 8, 1830; d Cairo, Egypt, Feb 12, 1894). German conductor, pianist, and composer. He studied piano with Friedrich Wieck, Max Eberwein, and Louis Plaidy before briefly pursuing a law degree to appease his parents. Under Wagner’s influence he began an operatic conducting career, then in 1851 began studying piano with Liszt, becoming one of his most important pupils. After teaching in Berlin (1855–64) and undertaking concert tours as a pianist, Bülow was appointed Hofkapellmeister in Munich, where he gave the premieres of Tristan und Isolde (1865) and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868). In 1869 Bülow resigned from Munich, unable to cope when his wife—Liszt’s daughter Cosima, whom he had married in 1857—left him for Wagner. He began to undertake concert tours from 1872, making the first of several visits to England in 1873 and the United States in ...

Article

Lucius R. Wyatt

(George)

(b Lagos, Dec 24, 1929; d New York, April 29, 2002). American composer, violinist and conductor. His missionary parents, originally from Jamaica, left Nigeria when he was three years old and settled in the West Indies. When he was 11 the family moved to New York, where he began violin lessons with Barnabas Istok. He studied at Queens College, CUNY (BA 1952) and Columbia University (MA 1956), where his teachers included Luening and Beeson. A Fulbright Fellowship enabled him to pursue further study in Florence with Dallapiccola (composition) and in Siena at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (conducting). He taught at the Hampton (Virginia) Institute, Queens and Hunter colleges, CUNY and Rutgers University. Also active as a performer, he played the violin in chamber and orchestral ensembles and conducted the Triad Chorale (from 1974).

Early influences on Da Costa's compositional style included the music of the Caribbean, black American spirituals and the poetry of Countee Cullen. He also explored freely atonal and 12-note frameworks in ...

Article

Alyn Shipton

[Joseph ]

(b Zeerust, South Africa, March 9, 1909; d Northwood, July 2, 1993). South African jazz drummer and bandleader, active in Britain. He arrived in England aged two, and began playing drums in public at 13. Three years later he played on numerous transatlantic crossings in ships’ bands for Cunard liners, before returning to London to play with the trumpeter Max Goldberg (1926). Daniels assumed leadership of that band, but Goldberg continued to play regularly for him (1926–7) and in Daniels’s later groups. Daniels played in bands led by Al Tabor (1927), Billy Mason (1929) and Harry Roy (1929–32, 1932–7). While in Roy’s band, Daniels formed a recording band, his Hotshots, in June 1935. He led this band full time from 1937, and became recognized as the leading drum virtuoso in British jazz, exemplified by recordings such as Crashing Through...

Article

Dominique-René De Lerman

revised by Jonas Westover

(b Nabaclis, British Guiana [now Guyana], April 5, 1907; d London, England, June 10, 1988). American conductor. His interest in classical music was sparked by hearing transcriptions of classical works played by local military bands. He played clarinet in the British Guiana Militia Band from 1916 to 1919, when he enrolled at the Institute of Musical Art (later called the Juilliard School) as a student of clarinet, piano, and composition. While in New York, he developed an interest in jazz and played in E. Gilbert Anderson’s Harlem Orchestra and Will Vodery’s Plantation Orchestra. Dunbar developed a strong relationship with William Grant Still while the two were in New York. After graduating in 1924 Dunbar went on tour to Europe with the revue Dixie to Broadway. He studied in Paris with Louis Cahuzac, Philippe Gaubert, and Paul Vidal, and in Vienna with Felix Weingartner. In 1931 he moved to London with the intention of becoming a music critic, and it was there that his orchestra African Polyphony was recorded early in the 1930s. His band at the Cossack Restaurant became the first black ensemble to broadcast on the BBC (...

Article

Awatef Abdel Kerim

(b Rashēēd by Beheira, Nov 10, 1947). Egyptian conductor and composer. He studied piano and cello at the Alexandria Conservatory, then (1967–71) composition at the Cairo Conservatory. After graduating he studied for one year at the Moscow Conservatory (1973–4), then took postgraduate studies at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik (1976–85), where he studied conducting with Suitner, composition with Cerha and Schenkerian theory with Franz Eibner. On obtaining his Magister Artium he returned to Egypt in 1985. He taught composition and conducting at the Cairo Conservatory, first as an associate professor (1988–92), then as a full professor (from 1997). From 1991 to 1993 he was an assistant conductor of the Cairo SO, then its resident conductor (1993–6), then, from 1996, its principal conductor and music director.

Elsaedi is a leading Egyptian conductor who is well versed in many musical styles. He was one of the first to conduct 20th-century works in Egypt, and has also toured with the Cairo SO in Europe (...

Article

G.F. Stegmann

revised by James May

(b Somerset West, Nov 3, 1904; d Cape Town, March 21, 1980). South African conductor and composer. He studied at the College of Music, Cape Town (1916–22), and at the Royal College of Music, London, with Boult, Sargent and Vaughan Williams (1922–6). While at the RCM he conducted Hänsel und Gretel at the Parry Opera Theatre and directed the leading London orchestras. After a brief return to South Africa (1926–7) he took up residence in London, conducting touring theatre companies, arranging and composing light music, and appearing as a guest conductor. He assisted Ernest Irving at the Ealing film studios (1934–9) and was conductor of the BBC Northern SO (1939–42); later he appeared with the BBC and other orchestras. Having returned to South Africa to accept the associate conductorship of the Johannesburg City Orchestra (1949–52), he remained there on the staff of the SABC, of which he became music director (...

Article

Charles Fox

revised by Digby Fairweather and Simon Adams

[Michael Clement Irving ]

(b Salisbury, Rhodesia [now Harare, Zimbabwe], Sept 25, 1937). Rhodesian composer, bandleader, and trombonist. He learned piano from the age of seven, took up trombone when he was 17, and in 1959 went to the USA to study at the Berklee School of Music, the Lenox (Massachusetts) School of Jazz, the Boston Conservatory (BM 1963), and the Tanglewood Summer School, where his teachers included Aaron Copland and Gunther Schuller; he often worked with Gary Burton during this period. After settling in Britain in 1965 he was a trombonist in Graham Collier’s band (spring 1966–c1967) and John Dankworth’s orchestra (1967–8, early 1970s). Gibbs swiftly established a reputation as a composer and arranger, and wrote music for radio, television, and films as well as for a number of his own bands (1968–74). He also worked as a studio musician and performed with radio big bands in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. By the late 1960s he was receiving widespread critical acclaim (his album ...

Article

Charles de Ledesma

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Umtata, South Africa, Dec 24, 1936; d Agen, France, May 26, 1990). South African pianist and bandleader. He took up piano at the age of five and studied the instrument at the South African College of Music, Cape Town. From 1960 to 1962 he led two big bands that played a type of jazz influenced by both urban popular music and classical music, then in 1963, with Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, the tenor saxophonist Nikele (Nick) Moyake, Johnny Dyani, and Louis Moholo, he formed the Blue Notes; the group left South Africa in 1964. It traveled first to France to play at the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes–Juan-les-Pins, then held residencies at the Afrikaner Club in Zurich and the Blue Note in Geneva (1964–5) and went to London (1965). In 1966, while Dyani and Moholo were away (working for a brief period with Steve Lacy), the tenor saxophonist Ronnie Beer joined the Blue Notes, and the following year the group (without Moyake) recorded the album ...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

(b Accra, May 31, 1919; d July 19, 1996). Ghanaian trumpet and saxophone player and bandleader . After learning to play the organ and the saxophone while at secondary school, he formed the Accra Rhythmic Orchestra in the 1930s. He played in several bands during the 1940s before joining the Tempos in Accra in 1947; in addition to highlife, the band’s repertory included calypsos, boleros and cha cha chas. Mensah became known as ‘The King of Highlife’ and performed with Louis Armstrong during the latter’s visit to Ghana in 1956. With the decline of big band highlife, Mensah earned his living as a government pharmacist for some time, but during the 1970s he took part in a revival of big band highlife during which he made several important recordings. He made further comebacks during the 1980s, one of which coincided with the reissue on the RetroAfric label of several recordings from ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Aug 11, 1966). Japanese drummer and leader. He started playing drums at the age of three, when he was given a miniature set as a birthday gift. While living in Kenya from ages five to eight he worked professionally as a musician at the Nairobi National Theater for a month. After returning to Japan he studied drums privately (1975–8). He was featured on various radio and TV programs as a child prodigy and gave his first recital in Tokyo when he was 11; that same year he recorded his first album as a leader. In 1978 he accompanied Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Japan. He then worked with Toshiyuki Honda (1978–84), Mikio Masuda (1984–7), and Fumio Karashima (1987–91). Having graduated from Hosei University in 1987, he moved in 1991 to New York, where he later performed with Kenny Garrett, Don Friedman, and Ron McClure, among many others. Okudaira became a member of Carlos Garnett’s quartet in ...

Article

Bill Dobbins

(Ward Martin Tabares)

(b Norwalk, CT, Sept 2, 1928; d New Rochelle, NY, June 18, 2014). American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer. As a child he was exposed to Cape Verdean folk music performed by his father, who was of Portuguese descent. He began studying the saxophone and the piano in high school, when his influences were blues singers such as Memphis Slim and boogie-woogie and bop pianists, especially Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. In 1950 Stan Getz made a guest appearance in Hartford, Connecticut, with Silver’s trio, and subsequently engaged the group to tour regularly with him. Silver remained with Getz for a year, during which time three of his compositions, Penny, Potter’s Luck (written for Tommy Potter) and Split Kick, were recorded by the band for the Roost label.

By 1951 Silver had developed sufficient confidence to move to New York, where he performed with such established professionals as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Oscar Pettiford and Art Blakey. In ...

Article

Asta-Rose Alcaide

revised by Alexandre Delgado

(b Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Feb 15, 1927). Portuguese composer, musicologist and conductor. He took a degree in classical philology at Lisbon University and studied the piano (diploma 1947) with Abreu Mota and composition (diploma 1952) with Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos at the Lisbon Conservatory; he also studied conducting with Fritz Lehmann in Munich (1954–5), Hans Swarowsky in Vienna (1957) and Albert Wolff in Hilversum (1957). He was one of the founders of the Portuguese section of the Jeunesse Musicale and, during his ten years as director of the Portuguese television music department (1959–69), he also taught composition at Lisbon Conservatory (1963–7). Besides some activity as a conductor he has carried out much research, discovering several 18th- and 19th-century Portuguese manuscripts which he has reconstructed and revised. These include As variedades de Proteu (1737) and ...

Article

Ole Matthiessen

revised by Erik Wiedemann and Frank Büchmann-Møller

(Martin )

(b Copenhagen, April 28, 1936; d Perpignan, France, October 8, 2012). Danish saxophonist and bandleader. His father was Congolese, his mother Danish. He grew up in Århus, where he played violin from the age of ten and clarinet and alto saxophone from the age of 16; he studied alto saxophone for three years at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. In 1962 he appeared at festivals in Helsinki, where he met Archie Shepp, and Warsaw, where he made his first recording (as the leader of a quintet). After moving to New York he played with Shepp and Don Cherry in the New York Contemporary Five (1963) and with Roswell Rudd and Milford Graves in the New York Art Quartet (1964–5); with both groups he toured Europe and made recordings. He also recorded as a member of the Jazz Composers Guild and with Shepp, John Coltrane, and Albert Ayler. In ...