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Michael Ethen


(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1978 he began what became a long and successful songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance, with whom he created most songs recorded under his name up to 1987, as well as songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Kiss, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and the Canadian groups Prism, BTO, and Loverboy.

Adams’ albums characteristically alternate between down-tempo piano ballads and straight-ahead rock numbers. His third solo album, Cuts like a Knife (1983) launched him to the status of an international celebrity; its singles included the ballad “Straight from the Heart” and the anthem “Cuts like a Knife,” which both featured for weeks on magazine charts and music television. The next album, ...


Rainer E. Lotz

[William ]

(b USA, c1890; d ? USA, after 1933). American alto and tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and singer. His first known engagements were in China (1920) and Australia. After moving to England in 1925 he played in Bert Ralton’s Savoy Havana Band and recorded with Bert Firman (...


Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Feb 13, 1936). Japanese alto saxophonist and singer. He had violin lessons when he was ten, then changed to clarinet, and had taken up alto saxophone by the age of 17, at which time he began playing professionally at clubs on US military bases; when he was 20 he began to sing. From 1959 he led a succession of bands: Takashi Furuya and the Freshmen, the Concord, the Neo Sax Band, the Neighborhood Big Band, and Reunion. He also performed with the Blue Echoes, the Arrow Jazz Orchestra, Gil Evans’s Japanese orchestra, Fumio Karashima, and Makoto Ozone, recorded with the sextet led by the double bass player Naosuke Miyamoto (1973), and joined tours of Japan made by Phil Woods’s quartet, Mal Waldron, and Dizzy Gillespie. Furuya teaches at the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Cultural Center and his own vocal school. In concert in Osaka in ...


Wendy F. Hsu

(b Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 15, 1973). Rock musician and songwriter of Taiwanese birth. Hsu moved to Houston, Texas, with his family in 1989. His brother, Kevin Hsu, was a pop star in Taiwan who signed to Golden Point/BMG. Self-taught in guitar, keyboards, voice, and drums, Hsu formed in 2001 the alternative rock band Johnny Hi-Fi, which has toured extensively in the United States and Asia. As a songwriter Hsu writes songs in both English and Mandarin Chinese. He has collaborated with Taiwanese recording artists and producers and has had success overseas. His song titled “Don’t Go,” performed by Richie Ren, reached the top 10 pop music chart in Taiwan. Hsu also has toured with Taiwanese rock musician Chang Chen-Yue on his US tour in 2004.

In 2004 Hsu began organizing the Asian Rock Fest in recognition of Asian American Heritage Month in May. An annual festival series, Asian Rock Fest has brought together Asian American artists and showcased rock music talent including Eyes Like Knives, Kite Operations, Carol Bui, Burning Tree Project, Festizio, Vudoo Soul, Jack Tung, and Johnny Hi-Fi. The first Asian Rock Fest took place at The Pianos in New York. The festival continued to feature Asian American musicians after Hsu’s relocation to the west coast in ...


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...


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 ...


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 (...


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 ...


Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, March 5, 1944). Japanese trumpeter, singer, and leader. At the age of 13 he taught himself to play trumpet, mainly influenced by Hollywood films featuring jazz. A specialist in New Orleans jazz and the playing and singing style of Louis Armstrong, he graduated in 1966 from Waseda University in Tokyo, where he was very active in the New Orleans Jazz Club. He lived in New Orleans from 1968 to 1969 with his wife, Keiko, who plays banjo and piano, and studied under and performed with many legendary players, including George Lewis (i), Jim Robinson, and Danny Barker. In summer 1970 he led a band in Osaka, then in 1971 and 1972 he toured Europe and the USA as a member of Barry Martyn’s New Orleans Jazz Band. After returning briefly to New Orleans and then in spring 1973 to Japan, Toyama led his Dixieland Saints from ...


Howard Rye and Barry Kernfeld

(b Chicago, Jan 7, 1936; d Thailand, February 12, 2007). American bass player and singer. He learned double bass at high school and later studied at the Chicago Conservatory. After working with King Kolax (1951) and with various blues singers, including Joe Turner (ii), T-Bone Walker, and Joe Williams (mid-1950s), from 1956 he played cello and double bass in Ramsey Lewis’s trio, which made many recordings for Argo. Young also recorded as a sideman with Lorez Alexandria (1957) and James Moody (Hey! It’s Moody, 1959, Argo 666) and as a leader (1961). In 1966 he and Redd Holt (Lewis’s drummer) left Lewis and formed the soul band Young–Holt Unlimited, with which Young played both double bass and electric bass guitar. In 1990 Young–Holt Unlimited was a trio with the pianist Jeremy Monteiro. Young and Holt also appeared together in April 1984...