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Robert Pernet

(b Liège, Belgium, Feb 7, 1907; d Wavre, Belgium, Feb 10, 1987). Belgian pianist . After working in cinemas and music halls he performed in Switzerland (1928) and France (1929). In 1930 he toured Algeria and worked in Paris, and from 1931 to 1934 he was pianist, organist, and arranger at a nightclub in Liège. Colignon then played with Fud Candrix’s orchestra, often as a principal soloist (1935–40), and led his own group in Brussels. After World War II he was in Antwerp, and later he held residencies in Brussels (1947–53) and Charleroi. Thereafter he worked in Germany, mainly as an organist. He made recordings as an unaccompanied soloist (1937–8), as a leader (1939, 1941–2), and as a sideman with Candrix (1937–40), Kutte Widmann and the clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Jack Lowens (both 1942), and René Compère (...

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Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Lagos). Nigerian reggae musician. After a series of television appearances in Nigeria in the early 1980s he began a solo career in 1987. Jah Stix was his first band and in 1988 his album Prisoner of Conscience made an international impact. Influences on Majek include musicians such as Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Jimi Hendrix; his late musical style (for example as shown in ...

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Stephanie Conn

[Warsame, Keinan Abdi ]

(b Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb 1, 1978). Somali-Canadian hip hop artist, singer, and songwriter. K’naan (“traveler”) was born in the midst of Somalia’s civil war. His grandfather Haji Mohamed was a famous poet, and his aunt Magool a well-known singer. As a child he became interested in rap recordings sent from the United States by his father. In 1991 he left as a refugee with his mother and sister, moving to New York and then Toronto. By 1993 he had learned English, left school, and was performing professionally. In 2001 he sang at the 50th anniversary of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. His full-length debut album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2005), won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. In 2005, he performed at the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Canada. His second album, Troubadour...

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(b Abeokuta, Nigeria Oct 15, 1938; d Lagos, Aug 2, 1997). Nigerian pop musician. He formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, in London while a student at Trinity College of Music (1958–63) where he studied the trumpet, music theory and composition. After returning to Nigeria (1963) he reorganized the band as Nigeria '70; the name was changed after a trip to the USA (1969) to Afrika '70, and finally to Egypt '80. From 1964 to 1979 the band was led by the drummer Tony Oladipo Allen. Formative musical influences on Fela Kuti include his indigenous Yoruba musical culture, classical training, exposure to jazz during his weekly radio programmes at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, black American music (James Brown, John Coltrane, Miles Davis), literary works (The Autobiography of Malcom X) and political activists encountered during his trips to the USA. He proclaimed himself a disciple of the late pan-Africanist and president of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah....

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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 ...