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Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Sept 10, 1957). Japanese singer. She learned piano from the age of three, studied singing when she was 17, and in her youth undertook some work as a piano accompanist. After graduating from high school she lived alternately in Kobe, Japan, and Los Angeles. She then went to New York, where she sang from 1986 to 1991 as a member of the gospel choir of the Tabernacle Church in Harlem. In 1991 she returned to Japan and performed with the trio led by the pianist Hiroshi Minami in 1992 and Mikio Masuda’s trio in 1998. Among her recordings is an album (1996) on which she was accompanied by a quartet comprising the guitarist Satoshi Inoue, Junior Mance, Calvin Hill, and Akira Tana. Ayado was employed as a dietician until 1998 and then decided to work exclusively as a professional musician. Since then she has become one of the most successful jazz singers in Japan. She teaches gospel-style choirs in several Japanese cities and also plays piano and organ....

Article

(b Palestine, TX, Jan 21, 1902; d Fort Worth, May 2, 1984). American singer and bandleader. He led his own band in Dallas (c1925) and toured Texas, then briefly led the Wolverines. In 1928 he worked as a banjoist in New York, but from 1929 he specialized as a singer. He made a large number of recordings as a leader (1929–31, 1934), as well as with such musicians as the Dorsey Brothers (1928–9), Irving Mills, the Goofus Five, and Ben Pollack (all 1929), the California Ramblers, Joe Venuti, and Frankie Trumbauer (all 1929–30), the violinist Ben Selvin (1929–31), Duke Ellington (1930, notably Nine Little Miles from Ten-Ten-Tennessee, Vic. 22586), and Red Nichols and Benny Goodman (both 1931). During the early 1930s his band held many residencies in New York, and Ballew also led an all-star group which included Bunny Berigan and Glenn Miller. Later he appeared in many films....

Article

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 (...

Article

Philip Greene

(Marie Wolffe )

(b Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], June 1, 1940). Sri Lankan singer. She studied piano and cello as a child, and first heard jazz in broadcasts on Voice of America. She won a trip to Australia to sing with Graeme Bell in 1954, presented her own radio program in Ceylon, and toured Japan, Korea, and India with Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1955. The following year she moved to London, where she acted with the BBC Repertory Company and sang at jazz clubs. In 1959 she performed frequently at the Blue Note in Paris. She met Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert in London in 1962 and moved to New York to join their vocal group as a replacement for Annie Ross, who had left because of illness; Bavan performed and recorded with the group until it disbanded in 1964, and may be seen with it in the documentary film Newport Jazz Festival 1962...

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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 ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

[Oganesyan [Khovanesyan], Tatevik]

(b Yerevan, Armenian SSR [now Armenia], June 3, 1955). Armenian singer and educator. She grew up in a musical family and began singing jazz as a child; when she was 13 she made her first recording, a version of Harold Arlen’s It’s only a paper moon, for Armenian radio. Having studied choral conducting at the Melikyan Music School in Yerevan (graduating in 1974) she sang with the Armenian State Variety Orchestra under the bandleader Konstantin Orbelyan (1974–7); later she worked with groups led by Igor Bril, Vladimir Chekasin, Aleksey Kuznetsov, Lembit Saarsalu, and Tiit Paulus. Her international career began at festivals in Belgrade (1978) and Debrecen, Hungary (1985); later she performed throughout Europe, as well as in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the USA, where she settled in 1989. Before leaving the USSR she recorded Dnevnïe mechtï (1986, Mel. C60 23665000), and she was the soloist in a concerto for voice and orchestra by Konstantin Petrosyan, recorded that same year. In the USA she sang with Frank Wess, Larry Willis, Ben Riley, Paquito D’Rivera, and others, and recorded the albums ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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

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

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...

Article

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

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

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....

Article

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 ...

Article

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...