You are looking at  1-11 of 11 articles  for:

  • Composer or Arranger x
  • Instrumentalist x
  • Performance Artist x
Clear All

Article

Saadalla Agha Al-Kalaa

(b al-Qrayya, Syria, Oct 18, 1915; d Beirut, Dec 26, 1974). Syrian singer, composer, ‘ūd player and film actor and producer. In 1924 political circumstances forced his family to move to Egypt. His mother, the noted singer ‘Aliyya al-Munther, taught him singing in the Syrian style. He studied the ‘ūd (lute) at the Cairo Institute for Arab Music. His professional work began as an ‘ūd player and singer at the national radio station and in Badī ‘a Maṣabnī's variety show saloon.

In 1941, through his sister Asmahān , he entered the cinema industry, and for the rest of his life was involved in films as a composer, singer actor, and producer. His singing of Syrian mawwāl (popular songs), tangos and rumbas achieved great popularity, and his work laid the foundations for Arab variety show films, cinematic operetta, orchestral musical overtures and comic and sad songs. His 31 films are mostly autobiographical and provide valuable insight into the role of the musician in society....

Article

Lise Waxer

[Colón Román jr, William Anthony; ‘El malo’]

(b South Bronx, New York, April 28, 1950). American bandleader, composer, arranger, trombonist, popular singer, producer and actor. Dubbed ‘El malo’ (the ‘bad boy’) of salsa, he began playing the trumpet in 1963 with the teenage band the Dandees. Switching to trombone, he made his professional début at 17 with the album El malo (Fania, 1967). Both as a bandleader and a member of the Fania All-Stars, he quickly moved to the fore of the burgeoning New York salsa scene, cementing the raw, trombone-heavy ‘New York sound’ inspired by earlier artists such as Eddie Palmieri and Mon Rivera. Between 1967 and 1973 he made a series of important recordings with vocalist Hector Lavoe, which included the albums Asalto Navideño I and II (Fania, 1972 and 1973) with cuatro virtuoso Yomo Toro, where traditional Puerto Rican Christmas aguinaldos were fused with salsa. During his second period (...

Article

[Giovan, Gian, Gianleonardo]

(b Naples, c1530; d Naples, Jan 1602). Italian harpist, singer, composer and actor. He was generally known as ‘dell’Arpa’ because of his outstanding playing of the double harp. His improvisatory skills were praised by several Neapolitan writers, among them Giovan Battista del Tufo (Ritratto … della nobilissima città di Napoli, 1588) and Giulio Cesare Cortese (Viaggio di Parnaso, c 1610), Scipione Cerreto (Della prattica musica vocale, et strumentale, 1601) and Giambattista Basile (Le muse napoletane, 1635). In the dedication to his Tempio Armonico (RISM 15996), Giovenale Ancina revealed that Arpa sang laude to harp accompaniment, probably in the oratories of Naples and Rome. A favourite entertainer in aristocratic circles, he attracted the patronage of Giovanna d’Aragona (see Luigi Dentice, Duo Dialoghi della musica, 1552) and her children. As musician-actor he played the role of servant in comedies staged in Neapolitan palaces of the Prince of Salerno (...

Article

Richard G. King

(b Bilbao, July 19, 1795; d London, Sept 20, 1867). English violinist, composer, actor and playwright. According to Sainsbury (the source from which all other biographies derive), Lacy was a child prodigy who performed in public at the age of six a concerto by Giornovichi. He was educated at Bordeaux (1802) and Paris (1803), where he studied with Kreutzer. About the end of 1804 he performed for Napoleon. He played in the Netherlands on his way to London, which he reached in October 1805. His musical and linguistic skills earned him much success there: his first concert at the Hanover Square Rooms was given under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. In 1807 Lacy was in Dublin, performing with Catalini; he then moved on to Edinburgh, where he was engaged for Corri's concerts. Some time after that he left music for the theatre, acting in Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In ...

Article

Lisa MacKinney

[Koch, Lydia Anne ]

(b Rochester, NY, June 2, 1959). American singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, poet, and performance artist. Lydia Lunch arrived in New York City as a teenage runaway in 1976, after a childhood of chaos, abuse, and extreme neglect. Motivated by the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and the incendiary writing of Lester Bangs in Creem magazine, Lunch formed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks in 1977. The group (which briefly included James Chance) released only a handful of singles and EPs before breaking up in 1979, but Lunch had established herself as an uncompromising purveyor of a brutal, confronting, violently sexual, and bleak artistic vision. She is considered to be a founder of No Wave, an abrasive, untutored form of noise-based punk music that was often politically charged and musically experimental. No wave often involved conventional instruments (guitar, bass, electronic keyboards) used as extreme noise-making devices to create discomforting, visceral sounds—Lunch regularly used electric guitar with a slide in this manner to piercing, abrasive effect. Lunch released her first solo album, ...

Article

Elaine Keillor

(b Calgary, March 4, 1937). Canadian composer, pianist and performance artist. After studying with Gladys Egbert in Calgary and Boris Roubakine in Banff and Toronto, she settled in Winnipeg in 1959. She undertook further studies with Alma Brock-Smith, Leonard Isaacs, Peter Clements and Michael Colgrass in Canada, and with Adele Marcus in the USA. In 1972 she graduated with the BMus from the University of Manitoba. A champion of Canadian contemporary music, she founded in 1976 the Winnipeg-based Music Inter Alia, western Canada’s first contemporary music series. She served as artistic director of the series until 1991. Also active as a performer, she has given many première performances of Canadian works.

McIntosh’s compositions frequently employ multi-media; music, video, slides, electronic tapes, mouth sounds, dialogue and movement all become part of her artistic expression. Eliptosonics (1979), Glorified Chicken Mousse (1984) and Process Piece (1988...

Article

Rich Kienzle

[Hubbard, Jerry Reed ]

(b Atlanta, GA, March 20, 1937; d Nashville, TN, Sept 1, 2008). American guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and actor. He grew up in a family split by divorce and poverty. At age seven he gravitated to guitar and became enamored of the fingerstyle playing of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. As a teenager, he played country music in the Atlanta area and took the professional name Jerry Reed after signing with Capitol Records in 1954. His records did not sell many copies, but Capitol rockabilly star Gene Vincent made Reed’s composition “Crazy Legs” a staple of his repertoire. In the early 1960s, though Reed’s recordings failed to sell, stars including Brenda Lee and Porter Wagoner began recording his songs. By then, he was a Nashville session guitarist. He developed a new and unorthodox approach to Travis-Atkins fingerstyle playing involving the use of the right-hand thumb and all four fingers. Chet Atkins began recording Reed instrumentals and later adapted aspects of Reed’s unique style to his own playing. In ...

Article

David Johnson

(b Straloch, Perthshire, Feb 13, 1721; d London, Feb 6, 1807). Scottish composer, flautist and musical benefactor. He studied law at Edinburgh University and in 1745 joined the British army as a lieutenant; he was active in Scotland in the Jacobite Rebellion (1745–6), in Flanders (1747–8) and in North America (1756–67). In 1770 he retired from the army, intending to settle in New York State, but this plan was upset by the War of Independence; he returned to the army in 1780 and was promoted to the rank of general in his old age.

Reid’s flute-playing was renowned in Edinburgh and London salons. He wrote 12 flute sonatas, the melodic invention and security of construction of which are remarkable for a part-time composer. Some are English in style (e.g. no.3 of the 1762 set, which ends with a fast 3/4 air similar to some of Purcell’s theatre songs), others Scottish (e.g. no.2 of the same set, the slow movement of which has gapped-scale melodies and Scotch snaps, and which ends with a 6/8 jig). His use of different regional styles was probably learnt from James Oswald, who, as well as being a prominent composer, was Reid’s publisher. Reid’s marches, dedicated to various army regiments, are vividly coloured by Scottish idioms. The most famous is the ...

Article

Gerard Béhague

(b Rio de Janeiro, Nov 21, 1961). Brazilian composer, pianist, arranger, actor and theatre author. He studied music theory and piano at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1976–8), then at the Villa-Lobos School, where he also studied counterpoint, arranging and composition with Koellreutter (1979–83). He earned his bachelor's degree in music at the University of Rio de Janeiro (1983). In 1979 he won the first prize in the composition competition sponsored by the Villa-Lobos School and the School of the Brazil SO. Until then he had worked as an arranger and pianist of popular music, but he now turned his attention to theatre music, working as composer and musical director in more than 50 productions. In 1983 he received the Mambembe Prize for the music of the plays Will and A porta.

Rescala participated in various festivals of contemporary music in Brazil and other countries, including that of the American Composers' Orchestral Festival, Sonidos de las Américas (...

Article

Craig Jennex

(b Thunder Bay, ON, Nov 28, 1949). Canadian pianist, composer, musical director, actor, producer, and bandleader. He has been musical director for David Letterman’s late-night shows since 1982. Prior to working with Letterman, Shaffer was a featured performer on “Saturday Night Live.” He has served as musical director and producer for the Blues Brothers and cowrote the 1980s dance hit “It’s raining men.” He has served as musical director for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony since its inception in ...

Article

Roger T. Dean

(b Melbourne, Australia, Oct 12, 1936). Australian double bass player, composer, and performance artist. In his late adolescence and early twenties, when he was devoted to American jazz and its culture, he played with such hard-bop stalwarts as Stewie Speers and with Keith Hounslow. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he pursued parallel careers as an artist (particularly as a sculptor) and a jazz double bass player, working mainly in Melbourne. Having stopped making sculpture in 1969, he was active in the 1970s in free jazz, particularly with Brian Brown, exploring signal processing of the double bass, as well as extended acoustic techniques on the instrument. With his partner, Dur-é Dara, he formed Connections in 1975. Soon afterwards he ceased playing and focused instead on analogue electronics and his “art” ensemble False Start, which merged and saw no division among music, theatre, art, and performance. The ensemble produced a series of “events” until ...