<This second list of great keyboards players include many great classic jazz pianists, latin-jazz players,some classic of jazz organ as Don Patterson, Howard “The Demon” Whaley Larry Young, Milt Buckner and Wild Bill Davis, recent organ players such as Larry Goldings, Lonnie Smith,Milt Buckner, and Austin Mitchell. Also are included Brazilian-jazz and the four bigs of flamenco-jazz fusion: Chano Dominguez, Alex Conde, David Peña Dorantes and Ariadna Castellanos. The great Bebo Valdés is one of giants of latin jazz, included for it in the first list, but his knowledgment of flamenco music is very limited and is not a real flamenco-jazz fusion player. On the other hand, the great pianist Pablo Rubén Maldonado, born in Granada, is not included because himself dislikes if his music is cataloged as flamenco-jazz. For him, his music is not “flamenco-fusion” but “flamenco-evolution”. In our opinion this is not necessary, the flamenco music is like the classical music, it must not evolve, is perfect so. Great player of boogie-woogie style, but not pioneers, such as Dave Alexander, Ray Bryant, Katie Webster, Axel Zwingenberger and Jörg Hegemann are includen in this second list. < Nuevo campo para texto >>
- Aaron Parks (1983)
He was born in Seattle, WA
Pianist Aaron Parks is a forward-thinking jazz musician who came to the public’s attention during his time with trumpeter Terence Blanchard.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Parksbegan playing piano at a young age and by the time he was 14 had enrolled in an early entrance degree program at the University of Washington.
At 15 he was selected to participate in the GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensembles which inspired him to move to New York City and transfer to the Manhattan School of Music
While was in NY, he studied with noted pianist Kenny Barron and received several competitive accolades, including being named the 2001 Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association.
At age 18 he joined Blanchard‘s ensemble and subsequently recorded four albums with the veteran trumpeter, including 2003’s Bounce, 2005’s Flow, the soundtrack to the 2006 Spike Lee film Inside Man, and Blanchard‘s 2007 Grammy-winning opus A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina).
Besides playing with Blanchard, Parks has performed with a variety of artists including trumpeters Christian Scott and Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Kendrick Scott, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Parks has released several albums under his own name, including his 2008 Blue Note debut, Invisible Cinema.
He was an integral part of the James Farm Quartet with Joshua Redman (tenor sax), Matt Penman (double bassist), and Eric Harland (drummer). They released their self-titled album in 2011.
The pianist subsequently signed to ECM and released the solo piano offering Arborescence in the fall of 2013.
Parks can be heard on the soundtracks to Their Eyes Were Watching God and Spike Lee films including Inside Man, She Hate Me, and When the Levees Broke.
He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
- Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition at Montreux (Third Place)
- Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association (First Place)
- Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition (Third Place)
- Alex Conde
International flamenco-jazz pianist and composer from Valencia, Spain, Alex Conde, has earned his reputation as one of the foremost exponent of piano flamenco and jazz. With three albums as a leader, his last one, a tribute to the genius of Thelonious Monk in collaboration with renown Bay Area artists will be released by a NYC record label on February 2015. With this quartet, “Standards,” the group will explore new arrangements of the Real Book as well as original compositions.
Alex Conde and the ”Bay Area Flamenco-Jazz Ensemble” recorded at Fantasy Studios its newest project: A tribute album to the late, great Thelonious Monk with original arrangements of Monk’s compositions incorporating an exciting fusion of flamenco & swing rhythms!
”Passion, virtuosity and endless energy” RUBEN BLADES
”Gifted Spanish pianist and Zoho label artist Alex Conde, has his way with the high priest of bop in an adventurous all-Monk program”, BILL MILKOWSKI
”Following his overwhelmingly successful turns on the Music Box Stage, Alex Conde and his group return to start 2014 with the steamy pulse of Latin Rhythms. His finely tuned group brings out the best in both jazz and Latin standards while offering stunning original compositions that blend a lineage in traditional flamenco jazz, classical and world Latin beats”, CLAUDIA POLLEY
At ”Music Box at the Moon” ”Composer, educator and virtuoso pianist Alex Conde is widely respected as one of the most brilliant pianists and composers of his generation”, JOHN SANTOS
- Alex Hill (1906 –1937) dead at 30 !!!
Like guitarist Charlie Christian and pianist Joe Sullivan, another victim of tuberculosis.
Alex Hill was an American jazz pianist.
Hill was a child prodigy on piano, which he learned from his mother. While studying at Shorter College he met Alphonse Trent, and began arranging material for him.
He graduated in 1922 and played in various territory bands, including Terrence Holder‘s.
From 1924 to 1926 he led his own ensemble
ln 1926 he played with Speed Webb, and in 1927 he spent time with Mutt Carey‘s Jeffersonians and Paul Howard‘s Quality Serenaders.
Late in 1927 he relocated to Chicago and held a job as an arranger for the Melrose Music Publishing Company, while simultaneously arranging for the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra.
In 1928 he played with Jimmy Wade (trumpeter and violinist). Then with Jimmie Noone (clarinetist) in 1929, and Sammy Stewart (pianist, organist) in 1930.
While on tour with Stewart he moved to New York City. There he arranged for big artists: Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, Benny Carter, Claude Hopkins, Andy Kirk, Ina Ray Hutton, the Mills Blue Rhythm Orchestra.
He also did charts for Fats Waller, Eddie Condon, and Willie Bryant. Additionally, he became staff arranger for the Mills Music Company.
He and Fats Waller did a show together in New York called Hello 1931, and accompanied Adelaide Hall (jazz singer).
Hill again put together his own group in 1935, but after playing at the Savoy Ballroom,he disbanded the ensemble due to his tuberculosis. He moved back to Little Rock, Arkansas, and dead in 1937 at age 30.
Most of his recordings can be found on Alex Hill 1928-34, released on CD by Timeless Records in 1998. It includes recordings he made with Albert Wynn, Jimmy Wade, Jimmie Noone,Junie Cobb, Eddie Condon, and The Hokum Trio, in addition to 11 tunes he did as bandleader.
- Andy Laverne (1947)
Andy LaVerne is an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He is a prolific recording artist and as a jazz educator has produced many instructional guides.
Born in New York City, LaVerne studied at Juilliard School of Music, Berklee College, and the New England Conservatory, and took private lessons from legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans.
LaVerne has worked with Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Lionel Hampton,Michael Brecker, Elvin Jones, and numerous others.
LaVerne is also a prominent jazz educator, having released a series of instructional videos, standing out: Guide to Modern Jazz Piano, Vols. 1 &, 2 and Handbook of Chord Substitutions.
Laverne is a frequent contributor (since 1986) to Keyboard Magazine, and Piano Today Magazine. His articles have also appeared in Down Beat, Jazz Improv, Piano Quarterly, Jazz and Keyboard Workshop, and JazzOne.
Laverne is the recipient of five Jazz Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and winner of the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his tune “Shania”.
He has appeared at concerts, festivals, and clubs throughout the world, and has given clinics and Master classes at universities, colleges, and conservatories worldwide.
LaVerne is Professor of Jazz Piano at The Hartt School (University of Hartford), and on the faculty of the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops.
· Ariadna Castellanos (1983)
Born in Madrid, she is settled in New York.
He has dedicated his life to music. The young pianist and composer confesses that this world aroused his curiosity at age 6 when his mother began to take ballet classes. There he discovered over time that he had no talent for dancing, but it had a good ear. And almost by chance ran into his fondness for the piano, an instrument, for many, which requires a huge sacrifice. However, “I do not think so, I do not think I missed anything since I started playing it. Conversely, I have known things would not have been able to experience otherwise. What it requires is that you’re constantly in shape, can not stop, you’re like an athlete, “says Castellanos from New York”.
At 17, he got an international scholarship at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London to study classical style: “That city changed everything for me, my outlook on music and the way of understanding the world,” he confesses Castellanos . Then, almost unwittingly, appeared to test the prestigious Berklee College in Boston, unrehearsed, but eventually overcame. A couple of years became the first Spanish to receive this important aid. The school provided new knowledge: “The good thing here is that I absorbed a lot of other cultures the more you travel, the more you realize that music is the expression of something, which in classical missed a bit.”
The truth is that since adolescence has a strong interest in flamenco: “When going out, another issue that I discovered is that by putting so much, my roots were enhanced. That music was always important to me, but in the distance increased. Although it must have some knowledge of classic, because it gives you technique and mastery of the instrument. The downside is that it is already structured style that can not create anything new. “His career runs like an arrow, as an athlete in a marathon.
She has worked with many flamenco artists such as Niño Josele, Jorge Pardo and Agustin Carbonel, “The Ball”.
He also led in 2010 Honorary Tribute to Paco de Lucia in Boston.
Your next step is in New York, where it was just installed. In fact, s immersed in new projects, like recording an album and a tour of the Big Apple entitled precisely “I Flamenco”.
Incidentally, Castellanos is an underrated music: “In Spain people not deemed enough, but flamenco is very complex, rich, has great strength, is something wild. Apart from the public, foreign musicians realize that is yet to be discovered, almost nobody knows and provokes curiosity. There is a mystery about flamenco “says Castellanos.
Castellanos is very clear: flamenco is music that has motivated more to him and that, moreover, allows you to improvise, a technique he learned from jazz at Berklee, even with the piano, a totally new fusion: “It’s like a puzzle, you have your well-made pieces and change your site is fun. It is the difference with the classic, I needed to create something of mine
- Art Hodes (1904-1993)
Arthur W. Hodes was born in Ukraine (Russian Empire), known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist.
His family settled in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old.
His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow.
Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.
In the late 1960s Hodes starred in a series of TV shows on Chicago style jazz called “Jazz Alley”. Here he appeared with greats like clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and cornetistJimmy McPartland.
Hodes was editor of the magazine, The Jazz Record, for five years in the 1940s.
He remained an educator and writer in jazz. During this period of his life and into the 1970s Hodes resided in south suburban Park Forest, Illinois.
He toured the UK in 1987 recording with drummer John Petters.
In 1988 he returned to appear at the Cork jazz Festival with Petters and Wild Bill Davison.
A tour, the Legends of American Dixieland, followed in May 1989 with the same line-up.
Other musicians he played and recorded with included Louis Armstrong, Wingy Manone, Gene Krupa, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Marsala, Mezz Mezzrow,Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, and Vic Dickenson.
Died in 1993, Harvey, Illinois
In 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
- Arthur Marshall (1881-1968)
Arthur Owen Marshall, Arthur Marshall, a disciple of Scott Joplin. He was an African-American composer and performer of ragtime music.
Marshall was born on a farm in Saline County, Missouri. A few years later his family moved to Sedalia, Missouri because black children were allowed to attend school nine months a year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!there as opposed to the three months allowed blacks elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and the Sedalia townspeople were reportedly more acceptable of African Americans.
He was only fifteen years old when Scott Joplin first arrived in Sedalia. Joplin took up residence with the Marshall family, and before long both Marshall and Scott Hayden, a Lincoln High School classmate of Marshall, became Joplin’s protégés. Marshall had already taken some private lessons in classical music years before, and was versed with piano technique and a gift for syncopation. Joplin also helped get Marshall a job at the Maple Leaf Club in 1899. In the club on October 1, 1899, Marshall got into a fight with a young man named Ernst Edwards over Edwards’s girlfriend. They took their fight outside, Marshall pummeled Edwards with his cane, Edwards drew a gun, and Marshall ran away (escapó).
At Joplin’s suggestion, Marshall then continued to study music at George R. Smith College, learning music theory. He earned a reputation as an outstanding local musician.
While still in college, he traveled with McCabe’s Minstrels (Minstrel: American musical theater genre) for nearly two years, playing during intermissions.
Marshall also helped cover his school expenses by playing ragtime in public venues and for dances and special occasions. He also played where work was available; in the brothels (burdeles), where substantial tips regularly exceeded his standard wage by a great deal.
During 1901 and 1902, Marshall lived in the Joplin home in St. Louis, along with Scott Hayden, Hayden’s wife Nora, Joplin’s wife Belle, and Joplin’s brother Will. During this time, Nora and Will died.
Marshall continued to play in various tours and contests, both in St. Louis and at places such as Chicago.
In 1903, despite flagrant racial discrimination, Marshall worked at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair), playing piano at the Spanish Cafe where he earned $12 per week plus tips until he was replaced by a band.
After mid-1905, he moved with his wife to Chicago. They lived in an apartment at 2900 South State Street above Beau Baum’s Saloon, across the street from the Pekin Theater.Marshall played at several local spots; the Wintergarden at 3047 South State Street, Lewis’s Saloon and the Eureka Saloon.
Marshall collaborated with Scott Joplin on two ragtime compositions, “Swipesy Cake Walk” and “The Lily Queen” and produced several solo efforts, including “Kinklets”, “Ham and !”, and “The Peach”.
Marshall retired from the music business in 1917, but later in life he participated in ragtime revivals.
Arthur Marshall died in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Axel Zwingenberger (1955)
He is a blues and boogie-woogie pianist, and songwriter. He is considered one of the finest boogie-woogie music masters in the world.
Zwingenberger was born in Hamburg, Germany, and enjoyed eleven years of conventional piano training.
In 1973 he listened to recordings of boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons,Meade “Lux” Lewis, and Pete Johnson.
He soon joined piano playing partners Hans-Georg Moeller, Vince Weber and Martin Pyrker, and word about the four friends began to spread.
In 1974, he played at the First International Blues-and-Boogie Woogie Festival of the West German Radio Station in Cologne which was followed by Hans Maitner’s annual festival Stars of Boogie Woogie in Vienna.
By 1975, Zwingenberger received his first recording contract, issuing such solo recordings as Boogie Woogie Breakdown, Power House Boogie, and Boogie Woogie Live.
He has also authored several publications about blues/boogie-woogie music and musicians as well as Boogie Woogie: Piano Solo, a book of 12 of his compositions, exactly transcribed.
Being a railfan since early childhood, he is also known for his photographs of steam locomotives, including some taken from within the machinery itself..
In spring 2009, coordinated by young pianist Ben Waters from the UK, Zwingenberger renewed his relationship with Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones. Together with bassist Dave Green, they played joint concerts billed as The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie. In June 2012 they released their first joint album The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie – live in Paris and presented it in New York by playing concerts at Lincoln Center and The Iridium Jazz Club.
- Aubrey Adams (date of birth unknown / was dead in 1990)
He was a Jamaican pianist and keyboard player who was one of the top bandleaders in Jamaica in the 1950s.
Adams was active in the pre-ska era of Jamaican music when he led a band that had a residency at the Courtleigh Manor Hotel, that included tenor saxophonist Tommy McCook among others.
He also played in Sonny Bradshaw’s jazz band.
He continued to perform in the ska era of the early 1960s, when he played piano for Clue J and His Blues Blasters, and also recorded with Roland Alphonso, Clancy Eccles, Pat Kelly, and the Soul Defenders.
His keyboard playing was influential on other ska and jazz players, including Monty Alexander and he had a hit in Jamaica with “Marjie”, recorded with his band The Dewdroppers, and released on Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Worldisc label. Adams became a regular session musician for Dodd in the 1960s, and also played on sessions for Sonia Pottinger, and in Lynn Taitt’s band the Jets.
He was died in 1990
- Austin Mitchell Jr. (1919-2014)
Almost centenary, a rare case in jazz world.
Austin Mitchell Jr. was a professional musician, organist and choir master.
Mitchell was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System and attended Northeast High School. Mitchell benefitted from studies related to piano and organ while attending Northeast but his family took out thinking that because he had a “God-given” gift not needed formal training.
Mitchell enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1939 and served during World War II and was honorably discharged.
Mitchell devoted his life to music.. His arrangements and intriguing style of making music captivated audiences throughout the United States and Canada.
He served as a teacher in Burton School of Music and the Landis School of Music.
He toured with Etta James among many others artist.
After many years of traveling and performing, Mitchell stated, “Now I will have time to devote to my first love…working in the church.”His first church home was National Baptist Church. Later Mitchell served as an organist at Taylor Memorial Baptist Church and the Berean Presbyterian Church, and as organist and choirmaster at the Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church of Philadelphia and the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg. He was also the director of the male chorus at the Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. Mitchell remained a faithful member of Greater Ebenezer Baptist Churchuntil his death.
At age 71, Mitchell began his 21 year adventure as pianist for the Grace Notes Jazz Ensemble.
He died in Philadelphia in April 2014. He was 95.
Sarah Vaughan, world renowned vocalist, described him as a musician’s musician
- Ben Waters (1976)
He is one of boogie, blues and jazz pianist British.
Ben Waters has his own band, a trio of Waters (piano and vocals), Richard Hymas (bass, vocals) and Ady Milward (drums, vocals), sometimes supplemented by saxophonist, brass and other guest musicians.
In 2009 he founded with pianist Axel Zwingenberger, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Dave Green, the band The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie. The four musicians went on several tours in Europe since.
2011 brought the album Boogie 4 Stu Waters – Out A Tribute to Ian Stewart, who paid tribute to one of his idols, pianist Ian Stewart. On this album involving, among other things, Charlie Watts, Dave Green, Jools Holland, PJ Harvey, Bill Wyman, Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The piece Watching the river flow is the first new recording since the resignation of Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, in which he can be heard along with the band members.
Ben has been playing the new ninety V.O. as an assistant for the British rock ‘n’ Roller Shakin ‘Stevens, whose new album 2014, the song “Last Man Alive” by Ben Waters / Richard Hymas next spring, to appear!
- Benny Green (1963)
Student and protégé of Oscar Peterson
Benny Green is a hard bop jazz pianist who was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
He has been compared to Bud Powell in style and counts him as an influence.
Green was born in New York City. He grew up in Berkeley, California, and studied classical piano from the age of seven. He also had an interest in jazz from an early point, as his father was a jazz tenor saxophone player. Benny Green was “discovered” by Faye Carroll, and while still in his teens worked in a quintet led by Eddie Henderson.
Green attended Berkeley High School, and participated in the school’s jazz ensemble.
In the later years of his high school career, he had a weekly trio gig at Yoshi’s, which marked his entrance to the world of professional jazz.
After high school he spent time in San Francisco, but became more successful on his return to New York where Green joined Betty Carter‘s band in April, 1983, and since 1991 he has led his own trio. He has recorded for Blue Note Records, Telarc International Corporation, and Criss Cross Jazz.
Green frequently teaches in workshops across the United States, such as Jazz Camp West in California, and Centrum/Jazz Port Townsend in Washington.
He currently resides in Berkeley, California.
- Bert van den Brink (1958)
Bert is a Nederlands jazz pianist & organist, docent, composer/ arranger and producer.
When he was five years old he got his first piano lesson.
In 1976 Bert started his professional classical education at the conservatory of Utrecht(The Netherlands). Herman Uhlhorn was his teacher. In 1982 he graduated cum laude.
In that same year he was employed at the Utrechts’ conservatory to teach jazz piano. From childhood he has already been improvising a lot on piano and organ. In this field of the music Bert is completely self taught.
In the first period after graduation he gave several classical recitals, but gradually thebalance changed more to jazz.
In 1990 and 1991 he was the pianist in the quartet of Dee Dee Bridgewater. For some years he was the musical director in the band of Denise Jannah. He was the pianist in the Heleen van den Hombergh quartet.
As sideman Bert performed among many others with the vocalist Miranda van Kralingen.
The Bert van den Brink trio with bass player Hein van de Geyn and drummer Hans van Oosterhout released their first trio album “between us” in 2004
Bert plays solo jazz piano live or on the internet or on cd all under the
name: Bert’s Bytes. In the past Bert recorded several solo albums. Unique are “Strings surround” (for piano and string quartet) which was composed by Bert van den Brink in 2011 and the album “blowing” (2013) (Jazz & Pop) performed on church organ.
With vocalist Thomas Oliemans Bert recorded The song cycle of Franz Schubert
As arranger/producer his works are played by the Metropole orchestra, the
Dutch Wood winds Ensemble, Denise Jannah and others. One of the highlights is his arrangement of the opera Porgy & Bess performed by the Houdini’s and new Sinfonietta Amsterdam.
Award: One of those albums “Jazz at the Pine Hill” got an Edison Nomination.
- Bess Bonnie (1928-2011)
Bess (woman) began playing the piano at an early age taking her first professional job with a big band at 13. She joined the Detroit Federation of Musicians in 1946.
Her career spanned over six decades and included regular appearances with Jack Brokensha (Australian-born American jazz vibraphonist) at his club in Detroit’s New Center area, and at countless other clubs and hotels, concert and festival venues, private parties, events and local resorts.
Highlights of her stage career include a performance in 1981 at the “Detroit Jazz Summit” in New York City with Barry Harris, Tommy Flannagan and Roland Hanna.
In 1994 she played in Brussels, Belgium with Jack Brokensha at the Very Special Arts Festival.
In 2004 she appeared with the vocal group “Coda” at the Jazz Cava in Terrassa, Spain.
Bess was a regular guest of the Montreux/Detroit Jazz festival and the Michigan Jazz Festival at Schoolcraft College and the first artistic coordinator of the Detroit Institute of Arts “Jazz at the Institute” series.
She taught many students as artist in residence at Cass Tech in Detroit in the 70’s, atGrosse Pointe High Schools in the 90’s, privately in her home and at her own music school.
She appeared on many recordings beginning in 1958. Her last recording, a jazz opera based on the works of William Shakespeare titled “Suite William”, was released on her own label, Noteworks, in 1999 and performed at the University of Colorado.
Awards: In 1986 she received the Michigan Award for Jazz. In 1990 she received the State of Michigan Governor’s Award. In 1994 she was named “Musician of the Year” by the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association (SEMJA). Over her lifetime she served on many Boards and advisory committees related to the arts, art education and to improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
Bess Bonnier, 83 yrs, died Thursday, October 6, 2011 at her home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. A memorial service will be held at the Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church at St. Clair and Maumee followed by a reception at the Church and a celebration at the Blue Pointe Restaurant in Detroit. It was Ms. Bonnier’s wish that any donations made in her memory be sent to the Upshaw Society for the Blind, the Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church, or to local National Public Radio affiliate.
- Bill Charlap (1966)
William Morrison Charlap, Bill Charlap, was born in New York City, United States. He is an American jazz pianist.
Bill Charlap comes from a musical background and is a distant cousin to jazz pianist Dick Hyman (one of giant piano players and a fun of Chopin). His mother, Sandy Stewart, was a singer who had a hit in 1962 with “My Coloring Book“, while his father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap.
Charlap has recorded seven albums as a leader or co-leader for the Blue Note label, including two Grammy-nominated CDs: Somewhere, featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, and The Bill Charlap Trio, Live At The Village Vanguard. For the Japanese label Venus Records he has recorded two albums as a leader, as well as eight albums as a member of the New York Trio.
Charlap began playing piano at age three. He studied classical music, but remained most interested in jazz.
He has worked with Gerry Mulligan,Benny Carter, Tony Bennett, and others. In the mid-90s, he was the musical director of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, A Celebration of Johnny Mercer, part of New York’s JVC Jazz Festival.
In 1995 he joined the Phil Woods (sax alto & clarinetist) Quintet.
Charlap appears at least twice a year for lengthy runs at some of the world’s major jazz clubs, including the Village Vanguard with his usual/first rhythm section, consisting of Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums). In addition, since 2001 Charlap has also recorded as a member of a second New York Trio for the Japanese label Venus Records. The other members of the New York Trio are bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart.
Charlap replaced Dick Hyman as Artistic Director of New York’s 92nd Street Y “Jazz in July” six program series after Hyman’s 20th year in 2004. He married Canadian jazz pianist Renee Rosnes in New York City on August 25, 2007. The pair released an album of piano duets entitled Double Portrait on Blue Note Records/EMI.
In 2008, Charlap became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded an album in 2008, entitled Mosaic, which was released in 2009 on Blue Note Records/EMI, and toured the United States in promotion of the album from January until April 2009. The group plays the music of Blue Note Records from various artists, with arrangements by members of the band and his wife Renee Rosnes.
On November 29, 2012, Charlap was the pianist accompanying Tony Bennett at the wedding reception of Liz Lemon (the main character of the American television series 30 Rock) on NBC’s 30 Rock.
- Brooks Kerr (1951)
Brooks Kerr is an American jazz pianist born in New Haven, Connecticut, perhaps best known for being bandleader of a small group featuring Sonny Greer and Russell Procope and for his knowledge of Duke Ellington‘s work, which he often performs.
Kerr was a student of Willie “The Lion” Smith. The band he led with Greer and Procope frequented Greenwich Village jazz clubs and hotels in the New York City area. Kerr also participated in several tributary projects devoted to Duke Ellington that featured former members of Ellington’s crew, such as Ray Nance and Francis Williams.
- Butch Thompson (1943)
Butch Thompson was born in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. He is an American jazz pianist andclarinetist, better-known for his ragtime and stride performances.
Thompson began playing piano at the early age of three, and began taking lessons at age six. In high school, he played clarinet in the school band. In 1962, after entering the University of Minnesota, Thompson joined the Hall Brothers Jazz Band of Minneapolis. In the following years, he took time to visit New Orleans and learn from musicians there.Thompson was one of a handful (puñado/mananojo) of non-locals to play at the city’s Preservation Hall.
He has created musical groups including the Butch Thompson Trio and New Orleans Jazz Originals.
Thompson gained a wide audience as the pianist and bandleader for A Prairie Home Companion from 1974 to 1986. The Butch Thompson Trio was formed for the radio show in 1978, and continues to perform today (KBEM-FM in Minneapolis). Thompson and his group maintain a close relationship with the radio program and appear regularly.
In the 1970s, Thompson’s recordings gained popularity in Europe. He toured the continent extensively in the 1970s and 1980s, both as a solo artist and as a band leader or member.Thompson has written for jazz publications.
- Carlos McKinney (1978)
Carlos McKinney was born into an eminent Detroit jazz family; he is a nephew to pianist Harold McKinney, bassist Ray McKinney, trombonist Bernard McKinney (Kiane Zawadi), and drummers Earl McKinney and Walter Harris. He is a cousin to drummer Ali Jackson and trumpeter Khalil Jackson. His mother, Carolyn McKinney, is a singer, and sister Shani McKinney is a pianist. His younger sister Thema “Tayma Loren” McKinney is an aspiring solo vocalist.
Carlos began studying piano at age four with his uncle Harold; his first professional appearances were with the R&B group Identity Band when he was 12.
He studied classical music at the Center for Creative Studies from 1983 to 1991. He also studied harp under Patricia Terry-Ross, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. After studying with Harold and Ray McKinney and Marcus Belgrave, he played with the Legacy Quintet (1989–93) and then attendedThe New School in New York City (1991–95). He played with Winard Harper (1992–93), Antonio Hart (1992–95), Buster Williams (1993), Wallace Roney (1994–96), Sonny Rollins, Elvin Jones, Steve Turre, Branford Marsalis,Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett and Charnett Moffett.
He has played jazz festivals in Europe (from 1992).
His first disc as a bandleader was 2000’s Up-Front, on Sirocco Jazz.
McKinney has also worked as an arranger and producer.
In 1995 received a contract from Def Jam, where he worked with musicians such as Babyface, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Montell Jordan, Kandace Love, NIKKO, Case, Keithian, Ciara,and Redman. He has also produced for artists such as The-Dream, J. Holiday, and Jamie Foxx, among others. He produced the hits Shawty Is Da Shit by The-Dream, and Bed by J. Holiday in 2007.
He won a Grammy Award for his credits and production on the Rihanna Unapologetic album in 2013.
- Chano Domínguez (1960)
Chano Domínguez is a Spanish jazz-flamenco fussion pianist born in Cadiz. His first contact with music is due to the great love of his father to flamenco.
The beginning: In the late 70s he formed a group of Andalusian rock, called Cai, moving in the wave of rock and jazz fusion. During the decade of the 80s, Chano Dominguez, first with his Hixcadix group and then alone, he worked in small clubs and evolved into jazz but never a pure jazz, always with a “spanish touch” with flamenco flavor.
Little to little, Chano is currently the pianist who is one most famous for combining traditional flamenco with jazz, the other is David Peña Dorantes. The great Bebo Valdés, with all my respects, never played flamenco-fussion, he was the sideman of a flamenco singer and that is other thing.
Their first albums as a jazz pianist-flamenco of Chano was published by the Madrid Nuba Records label. After he has released numerous albums and collaborated with musicians and singers in Spain and other countries. He was the only Spanish musician Fernando Trueba’s film Calle 54, dedicated to Latin jazz.
- Charles Earland (1941 –1999)
Charle Earland, nicknamed “The Mighty Burner”, was an American jazz composer, organist, and saxophonist in the soul jazz idiom.
Earland was born in Philadelphia and learned to play the saxophone in high school. He played tenor sax withJimmy McGriff at the age of 17 and in 1960 formed his first group.
He started playing the organ after joining Lou Donaldson‘s band from 1968 to 1969.
The group that he led from 1970, including Grover Washington, Jr., was successful, and he eventually started playing soprano saxophone and synthesizer. His hard, simmering grooves earned him the nickname “The Mighty Burner”.
Earland hit the disco/club scene with several moderate Billboard R&B chart hits in themid-1970s and early ’80s.
Earland traveled extensively from 1988 until his death in 1999, performing throughout the USA and abroad.
One of the highlights of his latter years was playing at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1994.
Earland died in Kansas City, Missouri, of heart failure at the age of 58.
- Chuchito Valdés
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, pianist, composer, and arranger Jesus “Chuchito” Valdés, Jr. is the third-generation manifestation of a Cuban jazz piano dynasty that includes his grandfather, Bebo Valdés, his father, Chucho Valdés.
Valdés was a child prodigy, attending and graduating from La Escuela de Musica Ignacio Cervantes.
He had his first professional gig at the age of 16, working with Cuban singer and trumpeter Bobby Carcasses, and also accompanied singers Pello El Afrokan and Anibel Lopez for a time. In the mid-’80s Valdés was a member of the Cuban jazz combo Sonido Contemporáneo, and by the late ’90s he had taken his father’s spot in the renowned Irakere band when the elder Chucho Valdés opted to go solo.
Eventually Chuchito leads his own band and touring behind his fiery brand of Afro-Cuban jazz. He released a debut album, Encantado, in 2002 on Town Crier Records, following it with La Timba in 2002 and Herencia in 2004, both on J&N Records, and Keys of Latin Jazz in 2007 from Sony BMG International. Valdés continues to tour and record, makinghis home in Cancun, Mexico
- Claude Hopkins (1903-1984)
Claude Driskett Hopkins, Claude Hopkins, was an American jazz stride pianistand bandleader.
Claude Hopkins was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1903. Historians differ in respect of the actual date of his birth. His parents were on the faculty of Howard University. A highly talented stride piano player and arranger, he left home at the age of only 21 as a sideman with the clarinetist Wilbur Sweatman (, ragtime and dixieland jazz composer & bandleader) Orchestra but stayed less than a year.
In 1925, he left for Europe as the musical director of The Revue Negre which starred Josephine Baker with Sidney Bechet in the band.
He returned to the USA in 1927 where, based in Washington, he touredthe TOBA (Theater Owners Booking Association) circuit with The Ginger Snaps Revue before heading once again for NYC where he took over the band of Charlie Skeets.
From 1932 to 1936 he led a fairly successful Harlem band employing many jazz musicians who were later to become famous in their own right such as Edmond Hall(clarinetist), Jabbo Smith (trumpeter) and Vic Dickenson (trombonist). This was his most successful period with long residencies at the Savoy and Roseland ballrooms and at the Cotton Club.
In 1937 he took his band on the road with a great deal of success.
He broke up the band in 1940 and used his arranging talents working for several non-jazz band leaders and for CBS.
In 1950 he played usually with his band in The Cafe Society.
From 1951 up until his death, he remained in NYC working mostly as a sideman with other Dixieland bands playing at festivals and various New York clubs and recording. Often under-rated in later years, he was one of jazz’s most important band leaders and has yet to be given full recognition for his achievements.
As popular as Hopkins’ band was, it never achieved the high level of musical brilliance that his peers: Ellington, Henderson, Hines, Basie, Webb or Lunceford achieved. Besides Hopkins’ piano being featured within the band, the high-pitched vocals of Orlando Roberson brought the band a good part of its popularity.
He died on 19 February 1984, a disillusioned and dispirited man.
- Cliff Jackson (1902-1970)
Clifton Luther “Cliff” Jackson was born in Culpeper, Virginia. He is American jazz stride pianist.
After playing in Atlantic City, Jackson moved to New York City in 1923, where he played with Lionel Howard‘s Musical Aces in 1924 and recorded with Bob Fuller (saxophonist and clarinetist),and Elmer Snowden (banjo and guitar player).
He led his own ensemble, the Krazy Kats, for recordings in 1930, and following this group’s dissolution he played extensively as a solo pianist in nightclubs in New York. During this time he also accompanied singers such as Viola McCoy, Lena Wilson,Sara Martin, and Clara Smith.
In 1940-41 he recorded with Sidney Bechet (saxophonist and clarinetist).
He recorded as a soloist or leader in 1944-45, 1961, and 1969. As house pianist at Cafe Society from 1943-51 he was a great success.
He toured with Eddie Condon (guitarist and banjonist) in 1946.
He played with Garvin Bushell (woodwind multi-instrumentalist) (1950), J.C. Higginbotham (trombonist) (1960), and Joe Thomas (trumpeter) (1962).
As shown by many of his 1944-1945 solo piano recordings, such as “Limehouse Blues“,Cliff Jackson was certainly one of the most powerful stride piano masters. His style was also marked by a very interesting contrapuntal-like bass work. His many left hand techniques are found explained in detail in Riccardo Scivales’s method Jazz Piano: The Left Hand(Bedford Hills, New York: Ekay Music, 2005).
He died of heart failure in 1970.
- Cow Cow Davenport 1894 –1955)
Charles Edward “Cow Cow” Davenport was an American boogie-woogie and piano blues player as well as a vaudeville entertainer. He also played the organ and sang.
He was born in Anniston, Alabama.
Davenport started playing the piano at age 12.
His family objected strongly to his musical aspirations and sent him to a theological seminary, where he was expelled for playing ragtime.
Davenport’s career began in the 1920s when he joined Banhoof’s Traveling Carnival,a medicine show !!!!!!!.
Davenport recorded for many record labels, and was a talent scout and artist for Vocalion Records.
Davenport suffered a stroke in 1938 and lost movement in his hands. The jazz pianist Art Hodes assisted in his rehabilitation and helped him find new recording contracts.
His best-known tune was “Cow Cow Blues”. In 1953, “Cow Cow Blues” was an influencefor Ray Charles in his song: “Mess Around“, which was Charles’s first step away from his Nat “King” Cole– style, and into the style he would employ throughout the 1950s for Atlantic Records.
“Cow-Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)” (1943) was probably named for him, but he did not write it. It waspenned by Benny Carter, Gene de Paul and Don Raye. It combined the then popular “Western song” craze (exemplified by Johnny Mercer‘s “I’m an Old Cowhand“) with the big-band boogie-woogie fad. The track was written for the Abbott and Costello film Ride ‘Em Cowboy.
Davenport claimed to have been the composer of “Mama Don’t Allow It”. He also said he had written the Louis Armstrong hit “I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead (You Rascal You)”, but sold the rights and credit to others.
Cow Cow was known to have made recordings under the pseudonyms of Bat The Humming Bird, George Hamilton and The Georgia Grinder.
Cow Cow Davenport, who died in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, of hardening of the arteries, is a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Cripple Clarence Lofton called him a major influence.
- Cor Bakker (1961)
Cor Bakker is a Dutch pianist, born at Landsmeer.
He rose to fame playing in De Schreeuw van De Leeuw, a television show starring Paul de Leeuw.
He has had his own Radio Show called Music Minded, which he continued on television titled Cor & Co from 1996 until 2001.
He also hosted Cor op Reis, a travel documentary series.
- Cripple Clarence Lofton (1887-1957)
Albert Clemens, Cripple Clarence Lofton, was born in Kingsport,Tennessee, was anoted boogie-woogie pianist and singer.
Though Lofton was born with a limp (cojera) (from which he derived his stage name: cripple = lisiado), he actually started his career as a tap-dancer.
Lofton moved on from tap-dancing into the blues idiom known as boogie-woogie and moved on to perform in Chicago, Illinois.
The trademark of Lofton’s performances was his energetic stage-presence, where hedanced and whistled !!!!!!! in addition to singing.
“No one can complain of Clarence’s lack of variety or versatility. When he really gets going he’s a three-ring circus. During one number, he plays, sings, whistles a chorus, andsnaps his fingers!!!!!! with the technique of a Spanish dancer to give further percussive accompaniment to his blues.
With his distinctive performance style, Lofton found himself a mainstay in his genre: His first recording was in April 1935 for Vocalion Records with guitar accompaniment from Big Bill Broonzy. He later went on to own the Big Apple nightclub in Chicago and continued to record well into the late 1940s, when he retired.
Lofton lived in Chicago until he died from a blood clot in his brain in Cook County Hospital in 1957.
Lofton was an integral part of the boogie-woogie genre in Chicago. Some of his more popular songs include: “Strut That Thing”, “Monkey Man Blues”, “I Don’t Know” and “Pitchin’ Boogie”. His talent was likened to that of Pinetop Smith and other prominent boogie-woogie artists including: Meade Lux Lewis, Cow Cow Davenport and Jimmy Yancey. Lofton was also said to have influenced Erwin Helfer.
- Dan Nimmer (1982)
Dan Nimmer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An old soul in a young body, Mr. Nimmer plays with the spirit, the passion and the soul of someone who has been on the planet much longer. With prodigious technique and an innate sense of swing.
Influences: Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Erroll Garner and Art Tatum.
As a young man, Mr. Nimmer’s family inherited a piano and he started playing by ear; he was, if you will, “called” by the instrument. He studied classical piano and eventually became interested in jazz. At the same time, he began playing gigs around Milwaukee.
Upon graduation from high school, Mr. Nimmer left Milwaukee to study music at Northern Illinois University. It didn’t take him long to become one of Chicago’s busiest piano players. He was working a lot on the Chicago scene so Mr. Nimmer decided to leave school and make the big move to New York City where he was immediately emerged into the New York scene.
In 2005, after being in New York for about a year and playing with many different musicians, Mr. Nimmer got hired by Wynton Marsalis to become a member of his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, both in which he has been member ever since.
In addition to Wynton Marsalis, Mr. Nimmer has performed and or recorded with many famous artists: Jimmy Cobb, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Chick Corea, George Benson, Houston Person, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Jon Faddis, Benny Golson, Brian Lynch, Lewis Nash, Peter Washington, Fareed Haque and many more.
Nimmer has appeared numerous times on television including the The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno, The Late Show w/ David Letterman, The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Kennedy Center Honors, Live From Abbey Road, and Live From Lincoln Center-PBS. You can also see him in Apple’s video iPod commercial “Sparks”.
He has released five of his own albums on the Venus label (Japan).
Nimmer has played at the White House, The Royal Albert Hall (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Disney Hall (LA), the Hollywood Bowl and many other renowned venues and festivals around the world.
- Dave Alexander (1938-2012)
He was born David Alexander Elam aka Omar Sharriff, Omar Shariff, Omar Hakim Khayam, was an American Texas blues singer and boogie-woogie pianist.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1938, Alexander grew up in Marshall, Texas. His father was a pianist and his mother encouraged him to play in the church.
Alexander joined the United States Navy in 1955, moved to Oakland, California, in1957, and began a long history of working with various San Francisco Bay Area musicians.
A self-taught pianist, in his first period he played with Big Mama Thornton, Jimmy Witherspoon, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Albert Collins. In that time he also performed at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in 1970, and played at the San Francisco Blues Festival, many times from 1973 onward. He also performed in Europeand recorded two albums in 1972 and 1973.
In 1976, he began to perform as Omar the Magnificent having changed his name to Omar Khayam.
He was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award in 1993.
In 1993 small blues label Have Mercy! released Black Widow Spider, followed it up with hit Baddass in 1995, and Anatomy of a Woman in 1998.
In the 2000s Alexander lived and performed mostly in the Sacramento area, where he recorded on Have Mercy! Records.
He was an articulate writer and advocate for the blues and African American music. He wrote several articles for the Living Blues magazine.
Marshall, Texas is considered the birthplace of the boogie-woogie style of piano. In February 2011, Alexander relocated to Marshall, Texas, where he lived until his death in 2012.
· David Dorantes (1969)
David Peña Dorantes was born in Lebrija, Sevilla.
Dorantes belongs to one of the families most famous artists has given the world of flamenco in recent decades, the son of Pedro Peña Fernández, María la Perrata grandson, nephew of Juan Peña El Lebrijano and being related to Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera .
Being family of musicians explained that young in the world of music began, starting with the guitar (he came to stand for several competitions), to continue the piano at the age of ten, when he began to study at the Royal Conservatorio Superior de Música.
During his youth begins to break into the world of flamenco as atypical instrument such as the piano, instrument that had like pioneer to the great Arturo Pavón. Whereas Pavon played pure flamenco, Dorante and Dominguez (see later) take flamenco rhythm influenced by other musical styles such as jazz or classical music.
In 1998 was released to the public his first album, Orobroy, which received acclaim both purists and the public at general and takes you to a world tour that lasted four years, where he received numerous awards. It is the only artist who was awarded with three Giraldillos in one show at the Bienal de Flamenco.
A piano that mixes flamenco airs, impressionist music with echoes of Debussy and touches of jazz and symphonic melodic that it gets into the sack of the new age. The composer himself acknowledges that his training had to “invent technical and resources”.
In 2001, after several years giving concerts worldwide, released their second album, Sur, recorded in Seville, Paris and Sofia, which continues to surprise and strangers and, like its predecessor, is acclaimed by public and criticism.
Their presence in the best festivals and theaters is consolidated in 2011 harboring in its route the best national and international stages as Sadler`s Wells (Londres), Midem (Cannes), Royal Albert Hall (Londres), Skirball Theater (Nueva York), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), Bozar – Palacio de Bellas Artes (Bruselas), Theatre Al’Hamabra (Ginegra), Sumida Thriphony Hall (Tokio), Lobero Theatre (California), Teatro Manzoni (Italia), Suzanne Dellal Center (Israel), Antalya Kultur Merkezi
He have interpreted compositions of Chick Corea among other great jazz piano players.
He has been invited to share the stage with musicians of world music as Musafir, Tomas Gubitsch, Caravanserai, Ron Carter and Kenny Werner.
In 2012, Dorantes closed the prestigious Festival de Jazz de Montreal, this being his second visit in two years the festival and takes it so far his latest album, No !.
- Diana Krall (1964)
Diana Jean Krall is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer, known for her contralto vocals.
Krall was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, the daughter of Adella A. (née Wende) and Stephen James “Jim” Krall. Her father played piano at home and her mother sang in a community choir.
She was playing piano herself at the age of four and playing jazz in a local restaurant at 15. She went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a scholarship before heading out to L.A. to play jazz. She returned to Canada to release her first album in 1993.
Krall lost her mother to multiple myeloma in 2002 (she is an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation), within months of also losing her mentors Ray Brown (double-bassist) and Rosemary Clooney (singer).
Krall and British musician Elvis Costello were married on December 6, 2003 at Elton John‘s estate outside London.
In 1993, Krall released her first album, Stepping Out, which she recorded with John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton.
Her third album, All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio (1996), was nominated for a Grammy and continued for 70 weeks in the Billboard jazz charts.
Love Scenes (1997) quickly became a hit record with the trio of Krall, Russell Malone (guitar) and Christian McBride (bass).
In August 2000, Krall was paired on a 20-city tour with Tony Bennett. They were paired again for a song on the TV series Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…
Her concert at the Paris Olympia was recorded and released as her first live record, Diana Krall – Live in Paris. The album included covers of Billy Joel‘s “Just The Way You Are” (a hit on U.S. smooth jazz radio) and Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case Of You.”
After marrying Elvis Costello, she worked with him as a lyricist and started to compose her own songs, resulting in the album The Girl in the Other Room. The album, released in April 2004, quickly rose to the top five in the United Kingdom and made the Australian top 40 album charts.
She joined Ray Charles on his Genius Loves Company album in 2004 on the song, “You Don’t Know Me“..
Krall also produced Barbra Streisand‘s album Love Is the Answer, released on September 29, 2009.
In September 2012, she accompanied Paul McCartney at Capitol Studios in a live performance of his Album “Kisses on the Bottom“, which was shown live on the internet.
On September 13, 2012, Krall performed “Fly Me to the Moon” at astronaut Neil Armstrong‘s memorial service in Washington, D.C.
In 2000, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia. In 2003 she was given anhonorary Ph.D. (Fine Arts) from the University of Victoria. In 2004, she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2005, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
In 2008, Nanaimo Harbourfront Plaza was renamed Diana Krall Plaza.
She has sold more than 6 million albums in the US and over 15 million worldwide. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz artist of the 2000–09 decade, establishing her as one of the best-selling artists of her time. She is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums. To date, she has won five Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums.
- Dick Wellstood (1927-1987)
Richard MacQueen, “Dick”, Wellstood was born in Greenwich, Connecticut was an American jazz pianist. He was, along with Ralph Sutton, one of the few stride pianists to arise in the 1940s during the rise of bebop.
Wellstood played with clarinetist and saxophonist Bob Wilber‘s Wildcats in 1946, and became a mainstay on the traditional jazz scene, playing with Sidney Bechet in 1947 and in the 1950s with Jimmy Archey, Conrad Janis, Roy Eldridge, Rex Stewart, Charlie Shavers, and Eddie Condon.
In 1965 he played with drummer Gene Krupa and his band in South America and later joined the World’s Greatest Jazz Band.
In the 1970s he played locally and studied law, briefly going into practice in the 1980s.
In 1977 completed a tour of the UK with the Dutch Swing College Band
In the 1980s he also played often with clarinetist Kenny Davern.
From 1980-86, Hanratty’s restaurant was the house pianist. In 1987 he was the pianist for Bemelman’s Bar of the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.
He died of a heart attack in 1987, aged 59.
- Derek Paravicini (1979)
Derek Paravicini is a blind English autistic savant and a musical prodigy. He lives in London.
Paravicini was born extremely prematurely, at 25 weeks. His blindness was caused by oxygen therapy given during his time in a neonatal intensive care unit. This also affected his developing brain, resulting in his severe learning disability. He also hasautism.
He has absolute pitch and can play a piece of music after hearing it once.
He began playing the piano by the age of two when his nanny gave him an old keyboard.
His parents arranged for him to attend the Linden Lodge School for the Blind in London.On his introductory visit to the school, he headed straight for a piano . Ockelford encouraged him and arranged first weekly and then daily lessons. Aged seven, Paravicini gave his first concert in Tooting Leisure Centre in South London.
In 1989, at the age of nine, Paravicini had his first major public concert at the Barbican Hall in London when he played with the Royal Philharmonic Pops Orchestra. In that year, he appeared on Wogan and was the main subject of a documentary called Musical Savants.
More opportunities followed, including playing at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
Paravicini’s first album Echoes of the Sounds to Be was released on 27 September 2006.
He was featured on an episode of Channel 5‘s Extraordinary People in an episode titled “The Musical Genius”, which showed his journey to Las Vegas to play in a charity concert with another savant, Rex Lewis-Clack. Rex Lewis-Clack (born June 24, 1995) is an American pianist, considered a prodigious musical savant. Rex Lewis-Clack was born in Southern California, He was born with a cerebral Arachnoid cyst and with a form of blindness called Septo-optic dysplasia. Lewis-Clack began his life education at 6 months of age at The Blind Children’s Center in Los Angeles-.Given a piano keyboard at the age of two, Lewis-Clack became fascinated, and as he developed musical skills. Paravicini and Rex Lewis-Clark share: blind, autism and the “Savant Syndrome”, a rare but remarkable condition in which persons with developmental disabilities,have some spectacular ‘islands of genius’ that stand in marked, jarring contrast to overall limitations. In referente to his music, whereas Paravicini play all kind of music, incluçding jazz, Rex plays all music except jazz. He is able to improvise but his rhythm is not jazz and never played any jazz standard.
On 26 August 2010, Paravicini was featured on the History Channel‘s Stan Lee’s Superhumans. On the show, he was subjected to testing which verified his savantism and musical ability. Savant Syndrome is a rare but remarkable condition in which persons with developmental disabilities,have some spectacular ‘islands of genius’ that stand in marked, jarring contrast to overall limitations.
After Paravicini improvised at two pianos with the composer Matthew King, for a radio programme made for BBC Radio 4, they collaborated on a new Piano Concerto entitled Blue which was first performed with the Orchestra of St John’s in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in September 2011. This is believed to be the first concerto ever composed for someone with learning disabilities.
- Don Ewell (1916 –1983)
Don Ewell was an American jazz stride pianist born in Baltimore, Maryland, perhaps best known for his work with several prominent New Orleans–based musicians such as Sidney Bechet, Kid Ory, George Lewis, George Brunis, Muggsy Spanier and Bunk Johnson.
From 1956 to 1962, Ewell was a leading member of the Jack Teagarden band.
Following Teagarden’s death Ewell did some European tours, and then moved back to New Orleans and played clubs and hotels there. From 1976 to 1978 Ewell concertized,battled alcoholism, while living with his friend King Denton’s family, the manager of a local jazz club where Ewell was Artist in Residence. Thereafter, Ewell moved back to his primary residence in Maryland.
After two strokes, Ewell died on August 9, 1983.
- Don Patterson (1936-1988)
Another victim of drug addiction.
Don Patterson, born in Columbus, Ohio, was an American jazz organist.
Patterson played piano from childhood and was heavily influenced by Erroll Garner in his youth.
In 1956, he switched to organ after hearing Jimmy Smith play the instrument.
In the early 1960s, he began playing regularly with Sonny Stitt, and he began releasing material as a leader on Prestige Records from 1964 (with Pat Martino and Billy James as sidemen).
His most commercially successful album was 1964’s Holiday Soul, which reached #85 on the Billboard 200 in 1967.
Patterson’s troubles with drug addiction “hobbled” (hobble = cojear /figurado: poner trabas /renquear) his career in the 1970s, during which he occasionally recorded forMuse Records and lived in Gary, Indiana.
In the 1980s he moved to Philadelphia and made a small comeback, but his health deteriorated over the course of the decade. He died in 1988, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Don Sebesky (1937)
He is an American jazz trombonist, keyboardist and arranger.
Sebesky trained in trombone at the Manhattan School of Music; in his early career, he played with Kai Winding, Claude Thornhill, Tommy Dorsey, Warren Covington, Maynard Ferguson and Stan Kenton.
In 1960 he began devoting himself primarily to arranging and conducting; one of his best-known arrangements was for Wes Montgomery‘s 1965 album Bumpin’.
Other credits include George Benson‘s The Shape of Things to Come, Paul Desmond‘s From the Hot Afternoon and Freddie Hubbard‘s First Light. His song “Memphis Two-Step” was the title track of the Herbie Mann1971 album of the same name. His 1973 release, Giant Box, hit #16 on the U.S. Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
He has worked with the best orchestras of that period such as: as the London Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Pops, The New York Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic of London, and the Toronto Symphony.
He has been nominated for thirty-one GRAMMY Awards and won three Grammy Awards in the 1990s: Best Instrumental Arrangement for “Waltz for Debby” (1998) and “Chelsea Bridge” (1999), and Best Instrumental Composition for “Joyful Noise Suite” (1999). He also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for Parade (1999) and Kiss Me, Kate (2000). He won a Tony award for Best Orchestrations in for the revival of Kiss Me, Kate (2000). Sebesky has also written a book, The Contemporary Arranger (1975).
His Broadway theater credits include “Porgy and Bess (London production by Trevor Nunn)”, “Sinatra At The Palladium”, “Sweet Charity”, “Kiss Me Kate”, “Bells Are Ringing”, “Flower Drum Song”, “Parade”, “The Life”, “Cyrano”, “The Goodbye Girl”, “Will Rogers Follies”, and “Sinatra At Radio City”, “Pal Joey”, “Come Fly Away”, “Baby It’s You”.
Sebesky’s work for television has garnered three Emmy nominations for Allegra’s Window on Nickelodeon, The Edge of Night on ABC, and Guiding Light on CBS.
He has arranged for hundreds of artists including Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, John Pizzarelli, Michael Buble, Liza Minnelli, Seal, Prince, and more.
- Donald Brown (1954)
Donald Ray Brown born in Hernando, Mississippi)¡, is an American jazz pianist.
Brown was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where he learned to play trumpet and drums in his youth.
From 1972 to 1975 he was a student at Memphis State University, by which time he had made piano his primary instrument.
He was with Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers from 1981 to 1982, then took teaching positions at Berklee College of Music from 1983 to 1985 and the University of Tennessee from 1988.
Brown has recorded extensively for labels such as Evidence, Muse and Sunnyside.
- Duke Pearson (1932-1980) (with 48 yrs)
Columbus Calvin “Duke” Pearson, Jr was born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1932 The moniker/nicknamed “Duke” was given to him by his uncle, who was a great admirer of Duke Ellington.
Before he was six, his mother started giving him piano lessons, an instrument he studied until he was twelve. Then, he took an interest in brass instruments: mellophone, baritone horn and ultimately trumpet. He was so fond of the trumpet that through high school and college, he neglected the piano. He attended Clark College while also playing trumpet in groups in the Atlanta area.
While in the Army, during his 1953-1954 draft, he continued to play trumpet and met, among the others, pianist Wynton Kelly. Pearson himself confessed in a 1959 interview that he was “so spoiled by Kelly’s good piano”, that he decided to switch to piano again. Also, it seems that dental issues forced him to give up brass instruments.
Pearson continued to perform with different ensembles in Georgia and Florida, before he moved to New York City in January 1959.
In New York, performing with the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Sextet (known as the Jazztet),gaining the attention of trumpeter Donald Byrd. Byrd asked him to join his newly formed band, the Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams Quintet.
On the 1963 Byrd album A New Perspective, Pearson arranged four tracks, including “Cristo Redentor”, which became a big hit.
From that year until 1970, Pearson was a frequent session musician and producer for numerous Blue Note albums while also recording his own albums as band leader.
Pearson’s compositions include the now standard, frequently covered “Jeannine”,composed c. 1960, an early cover of which appears on the Cannonball Adderley album Them Dirty Blues (1960).
Pearson eventually retired from his position with Blue Note in 1971 after personnel changes were made.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 1970s, from which he died in 1980 at Atlanta Veterans Hospital.
- Ed Kelly (1946-2005)
Although he didn’t record enough through the years, Ed Kelly was a legendary name and an important force in Oakland, California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
He first played piano in his father’s church in Texas and his roots were in gospel music.
After his parents moved to Oakland when he was eight,Kelly became more involved in jazz. Then he spended a period based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts when he was in the Army.
Whe Kelly got back to Oakland area he was professor of music at Laney College for over 25 years, he conducted jazz camps. Among his students was tenor saxophonist Robert Stewart.
Kelly had opportunities to perform with Nat Adderley, Jimmy Witherspoon, Sonny Stitt, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Milt Jackson, Dexter Gordon, and Abbey Lincoln, among many others, when they appeared in Northern California.
He also recorded with violinist Michael White, guitarist Bruce Forman, and singer Sugar Pie DeSanto and led sessions of his own for Theresa, including a collaboration with Pharoah Sanders in 1981 that was later reissued on CD (with additional material) by Evidence.
In the early 2000s Kelly suffered a stroke that affected his ability to play; he died several years later in February 2005 at the age of 69.
- Eddie Cano (1927-88)
Edward “Eddie” Cano was an Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz organ and pianist born in Los Angeles, California.
He was first president of the Hispanic Musicians Association.
Cano spent most of his career trying to find the balance between jazz and Latin jazz styles.
His family was rich musically, Cano’s father a bass guitarist, his grandfather a member of the Mexico City Symphony. Cano studied bass with his grandfather and private teachers, also studied piano and trombone. Began classical piano studies at age five; where he became interested in jazz and decided to turn pro; an uncle introduced him toDuke Ellington’s music.
He spent two years in the Army beginning in 1945, and then began hitting stages in a group led by Miguelito Valdés.
He soon made a connection with Herb Jeffries, a singer whose forte was balladry and with whom Cano would collaborate off and on over the next decade. The pianist had his own bands going as early as 1948, but continued working with Jeffries, Bobby Ramos, and Tony Martinez.
As a composer, Cano came up with a large repertoire, including the tasty “Algo Sabroso,” the friendly “Cal’s Pals,” the wiggly “Watusi Walk,” and the thrilling “Ecstasy” — not to mention “Honey Do,” which could be a cross-genre answer song to Carl Perkins’ popular “Honey Don’t.”
While many of his peers concentrated on the peerless thrust of Latin rhythms, Cano hardly ignored this component but seemed equally intent on emphasizing the kind of complex, provocative harmonic and melodic structures associated with modern jazz.
Influences: Noro Morales and Erroll Garner, he developed an inimitable rhythmic style, drive and ability to “lift” a band. Often in his numbers he’d switch styles from Latin (with Latin rhythm section) to straight jazz (accompanied by drum kit).
Eddie Cano died from an apparent heart attack on January 30, 1988.
- Eddie Carroll
The father of piano duet format in an Orchestra.
The British Eddie Carroll learned piano as a child and began to play professionally at movie theaters in the Glasgow, Scotland area in the early ’20s.
By the time he was 17, Carroll had already formed and dismantled his own band as well as joining the group of Al Starita, whose last name was the closest this leader got to stardom.
Sidney Bright, whose name also has certain connotations, took over this band, Carroll staying on before briefly joining Ernest Ritte in 1930.
The pianist then relocated to London and began touring across the water in Belgium as one of two pianists in alto sax Hal Kemp‘s unusual big band.
By the end of the year, he had jumped over to the trumpeter Joel Kaye band, and in the following year became a member of the popular Ambrose Orchestra.
In 1932, the enterprising Carroll he worked with Maurice Winnick and Reg Purslove, then went to another group that utilized two pianos, the solid Lew Stone combo. For once this seemed to suit the musical needs of Carroll, as he stayed with Stone through 1934. Several reissues of this material have been released, including the 2002 Dinner and Dance.
Carroll then became a member of Henry Hall‘s orchestra, as well as the accompanist for the popular vocalists Elsie Carlisle and Sam Browne.
Later that year he put together his own group to work an extended stint at the Empress Rooms in London.
In 1936, he was the musical director on the RMS Queen Mary, led his own bands through the end of the decade, and freelanced with artists such as Nat Gonella, Spike Hughes, and Ray Noble.
With the outbreak of the second World War, Carroll became an officer in the British Army, serving from 1941 through 1945. Rest and relaxation was the order of the day after serving the order of the empire; he got his group a choice gig in the summer holiday spot Toquay in southwest England.
Much of the second half of the ’40s was again spent back in London with a residency at Quaglino’s.
In the early ’50s, his group toured throughout Europe and India. Other musical events in the ’50s included a return to the piano duet format, this time without an orchestra but with plenty of suspects as part of the Agatha Christie play Spiders Web.
Before his retirement in 1967, Carroll moved to the seashore, where he led groups at various hotels and resorts, specializing in nostalgic dance music.
- Eliane Elias
The classical tradition meets the spontaneity of jazz through the virtuosic playing ofBrazil-born and New York-based pianist Eliane Elias.
Elias may have inherited at least some of her musical talents from her mother, Lucy, a classical pianist who often played jazz records in the family home. After studying for six years at the Free Center of Music Apprenticeship in São Paulo, she continued to study classical technique with Amilton Godoyand Amaral Vieira.
By her teens, Elias was performing in jazz clubs.
While touring in Europe in 1981, she met jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and was encouraged to travel to New York.
Arriving in the Big Apple the following year, she studied privately with Olegna Fuschiat the Juilliard School of Music.
Elias‘ professional career received a boost when she was invited to join Steps Ahead, a jazz “supergroup” featuring Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Mike Manieri, and Eddie Gomez.She recorded one album with the group —Steps Ahead — in 1983.
Shortly after leaving Steps Ahead, Elias began collaborating with trumpet player Randy Brecker, whom she subsequently married but later divorced. Their sole duo album, released in 1985, was named after their daughter Amanda.
In 1986 Elias launched her career as a bandleader. Since then, she’s alternated tours with two different trios, one featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gomez and the other featuring drummer Erskine and her current husband, bassist Marc Johnson. Elias has also performed with a third trio, featuring Johnsonon bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums
Elias introduced her soft but coarse vocals on her 1990 album Eliane Elias Plays Jobim,and has employed vocals on occasion ever since.
In 1993, she became one of the few artists to release jazz and classical albums simultaneously.
Her 1995 album Solos and Duets featured a brilliantly executed duet with Herbie Hancock. Elias has served also as musical director for Gilberto Gil‘s group.
In 2007 she launched “Elaine Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans”, fronting a trio withJohnson (who played with Evans) and drummer Joey Baron.
In 2009, she issued what many have argued is her finest recording, Bossa Nova Stories,engaging Brazilian (bossa and samba) and her singular jazz instincts as a pianist.
In 2013, Elias paid homage to trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker with I Thought About You: A Tribute to Chet Baker.
- Enrico Pieranunzi (1949)
Enrico Pieranunzi is an Italian jazz pianist. He fuses classical technique with jazz.
Pieranunzi was encouraged to study music from a very young age. His father Alvaro Pieranunzi was a jazz guitarist.
He studied classical music until 1973 when he became a Professor of Music, and maintained that post for two years.
In 1975 he left his teaching practice and played in trios and small ensembles, however the majority of his contributions are the 60 CDs upon which he is featured. He issued his first LP in 1975. He has also been prolific in his work as a session musician.
Influences: A superior post-bop pianist influenced by Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner but long possessing his own sound
He has performed with, among others, Frank Rosolino, Sal Nistico, Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Joey Baron, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Bill Smith, Charlie Haden, Mads Vinding, and Billy Higgins.
First in 1992 and then again in 1997, Pieranunzi was the recipient ofthe Djangodor Award (France) for best European jazz musician and the 2003 Django d’Or (Italy). Of the Italian newspaper Musica Jazz, he was elected in 1989 as the best Italian jazz musician of the year.
In 2006 he started the Trans Alpine Jazz Project.
- Erwin Helfer (1936)
Erwin Helfer is an American boogie-woogie, blues and jazz pianist.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, United States, as a child Helfer was more interested in classical music than blues.
Helfer was introduced to piano blues as a young teenager growing up in Chicago in the early 1950s.
Once Helfer discovered the blues he enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans, completing college with a degree in music. He spent time outside of class studying the piano style of Crescent City pianists Archibald and Professor Longhair.
Helfer began his professional career when Estelle Yancey, wife of pianist and boogie-woogie pioneer Jimmy Yancey, coaxed him to fill in for her accompanist, Little Brother Montgomery.
His initial performance with Yancey led to a long-term professional partnership with the singer that lasted to her death in 1986 at age ninety.
In 1982 Helfer began his own record company, Red Beans, and released albums by Estelle Yancey, Blind John Davis, Johnny “Big Moose” Walker, and other Chicago blues artists.
He was nominated for the Blues Music Awards in 2003, for ‘Comeback Blues Album of the Year’, for his CD I’m Not Hungry But I Like To Eat – Blues.
In the last years he has played at the Chicago Jazz Festival, 2005–2007; the Chicago Blues Festival, in June 2010, and throughout Chicago’s blues clubs.
- Ethan Bortnick (2000)
Ethan Jordan Bortnick is an American jazz pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, actor and musician.
Bortnick was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida. His parents, Hannah and Gene Bortnick, were born in Ukraine and are Jewish.
Bortnick began playing a keyboard at the age of three and was composing music at age five.
At 9 years old, Ethan became the youngest artist to have his own National PBS Concert Special. The special runs 60 minutes and 90 minutes.
Ethan made his PBS concert special debut with “Ethan Bortnick and His Musical Time Machine”, a trip through music’s history from classical to pop and many genres in between. Gloria Gaynor joined Ethan for a rendition of her song “I Will Survive“, while legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval accompanied him on the Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World.”
Other performances included the Beatles favorite “Let It Be” and Bortnick’s rowdy take on Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly.” He also introduced the crowd to some of his original compositions, including “Arctic Jazz,” a song that delivers an inspirational message to a jazz swing, and “PBS You’re The Best,” a song which he wrote especially for the network.
At the age of 10, Ethan is the youngest musician and entertainer to ever headline his own national tour.
Ethan created this 2 hour show himself, including the concept and the repertoire. The entire show (from start to finish) was led by Ethan playing, singing, story telling, answering questions, and emceeing the entire show himself.
Ethan’s concerts covered music from different time periods and his own compositions.
On July 22 and 23, 2011, Bortnick made history at the Las Vegas Hilton as the youngest headliner ever in Las Vegas, at ten years of age. The Las Vegas Hilton Theater has a rich history of presenting such legendary icons as Elvis Presley who performed 837 sold-out shows, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow and Barbra Streisand. Bortnick made history again, performing 2 sold out concerts.
A review by the Las Vegas Sun said “Ethan Bortnick’s show at the Hilton (on Friday) night was history-making. It was a sold-out crowd, and there was so much heart and soul, plus energy felt from the audience. It was a spectacular night, 90 minutes of pure entertainment.”
“Ethan’s fingers seemed to fly across the piano’s keyboard”
Ethan recorded this concert before a live audience of over 2,000 people, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra, a 4 piece band, along with 120 member Kids Choir and 3 background vocalists.
In September 2011, Bortnick finished filming a feature film entitled “Anything is Possible”. Bortnick co-wrote the music with Grammy award winning songwriter and producer, Garry Baker, and his team Matthew Craig and Rob Collier. It has been reported that Ethan will also score the entire film. One moth before, in August 2011, Bortnick recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, his first recorded album. This album is the soundtrack to the film.
On May 28, 2011, Bortnick was one of the headliners of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. He performed two, standing room only, headline shows at the festival. Other headliners included Natalie Cole and Herbie Hancock
Honors and awards
On March 13, 2011 Ethan received a Young Artist Award for outstanding Instrumentalist.
- Eugene Marlow
Pianist of drummer “Bobby Sanabria Big Band” and leader of Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble, also with Bobby Sanabria on drum.
The Heritage Ensemble is a contemporary world music quintet that records and performs Eugene Marlow’s original compositions and arrangements of Hebraic melodies in various jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and classical styles.
The New York City Jazz Record called The Heritage Ensemble “a cross-cultural collaboration that spins and grooves.” Arts Westchester recently wrote: “The Heritage Ensemble creates wonderful cultural connections through the universal language of music.”
The concept for The Heritage Ensemble begin in the early 1980s and finishes in 1914 with four CDs: “Making the Music Our Own (2006), “Celebrations: Festive Melodies from the Hebraic Songbook” (2010), “A Fresh Take” (2011), “Mosaica,” (2014).
The Heritage Ensemble is a reflection of the evolution of “world of music” in the 20th and early 21stcentury. For example, the quintet’s musicians come from various cultural backgrounds. Multi-Grammy nominee drummer Bobby Sanabria virtuoso and congueros are Oba Allende & Matthew Gonzalez are the thre Nuyoricans: New Yorkers of Puerto Rican heritage. Their backgrounds are rich in West-African, Caribbean, and Afro-Cuban cultures. Saxophonist Michael Hashim is of Lebanese descent. His middle-Eastern heritage together with a broad jazz background fits well with the quintet’s musical approach. Phi Beta Kappa bassist Frank Wagner’s European background adds a certain old-world stability to the group’s performances. Finally, Dr. Marlow’s family background is Russian, German, Polish, and British. He has earned degrees in classical and jazz composition. This quintet’s cultural mixture informs a unique musical eclecticism and expresses its multicultural philosophy.
Harry Pickens is an American jazz pianist.
Born in Brunswick, Georgia, in the southwestern corner of the state.
Pickens originally attended Davidson College, a small, selective Presbyterian liberal arts school in North Carolina, as a pre-med major, but found he was spending more time in the piano practice rooms than in the biology lab. After two years at Davidson, he transferred to Rutgers University, specifically to be close to New York City and study with pianist Kenny Barron.
“It was a wonderful time to be at Rutgers,” Pickens said. “In the big band was Terence Blanchard (trumpeter) and Ralph Peterson (drummer). I was working part time in New York, playing at the Village Vanguard, Sweet Basil’s, Avery Fisher Hall a few times. “I worked with Freddie Hubbard (trumpeter), Milt Jackson (vibraphonist),, toured with Johnny Griffin (tenor sax) for a couple of years.” He has worked extensively moreover with Michael Tracy (sax and one of America’s foremost jazz educators) and Jamey Aebersold (another American jazz saxophonist and music educator).
He began his career with the group Out of the Blue before releasing several albums as leader.
Pickens remained in New York for several years before moving to San Diego in 1987. And he stopped performing in places where there was smoke and, most important to Pickens, where people were there for things other than music !!!!!. “Oh, God,” he said with a grin. “I’m not used to hearing people talk while I play. It’s like praying in public. It’s kind of like a visual artist working on a painting and somebody’s shining a strobe light on them. It’s an auditory form and there’s a certain sacredness to that.”
In February 1998, during Jazz Week at the University of Louisville, he made a live recording of a number of songbook standards that would be released in 1999 asPassionate Ballads on Jamey Aebersold’s Double-Time Records and he became a regular instructor at Aebersold’s jazz camps.
“In 1998, I lived in a house in San Diego with toxic mold,” he explained. “I was chronically ill for five years.I couldn’t play the piano, I certainly couldn’t play well.
Eight years later, the pianist, 45-year-old Harry Pickens, laughs long and loud and shakes his head at that story.
“For example,” he said, “the difference between Errol Garner. . . .
Pickens began to play the first verse of Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” in a bouncy staccato swing.
“Or Thelonious Monk. . . .”
He played the same bars, but this time with lots of clumsy plunks on the keys, two discordant notes played together and a set of four triplets squeezed into four beats.
“Or Bill Evans. . . .”
Here Pickens played the same bars again, this time slowly and smoothly, sweeping, romantic.
“We call it style. Style is not something you figure out intellectually, but it emerges from what you are in terms of your particular gifts and talents and passions and interests.”
As a professional musician, Pickens wants to deepen his capacity to create beauty.
“That’s the reason I make music. For me, my purpose is to convey something of deep beauty. And to share it.”
According to his website, Pickens has collaborated with: John Abercrombie, Art Blakey, Terrence Blanchard, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Lou Donaldson, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, among many others.
- Harold McKinney (1928-2001)
Jazz pianist Harold McKinney was born in Detroit, Michigan
He wasa driving force in Detroit’s jazz scene in the ’40s on through the new millennium. McKinney was inspired to study classical music as a child by his mother, Bessie Walon McKinney, an organist.
He was converted into a jazzman when he walked into an ice cream shop andheard Charlie Parker on the juke box playing bebop on the alto sax.
He briefly attended Wayne State University and served in the Army during the early ’50s in Germany.
The pianist played all sorts of jazz from bop to boogie woogie and worked with many greats including Kenny Burrell, John Coltrane, and Wes Montgomery and toured to cities around the world. Fellow musicians have credited McKinney with helping to keep jazz in Detroit’s musical forefront when trends in popular culture threatened its livelihood.
The pianist was also a teacher, appearing on instructional videos and giving private lessons and weekly workshops at Detroit’s SerNgeti Ballroom.
In 1990,McKinney received the Jazz Master award from Arts Midwest for lifetime achievement.
In 1995, he toured Africa and the Middle East with his band, the Jazz Masters.
In May of 2001, McKinney entered the hospital after a stroke, returning to teach his SerNgeti workshop a week later. Shortly after, he was readmitted to the hospital due to the first in a long series of strokes. McKinney underwent surgery but passed away due to a stroke-induced coma on June 20, 2001.
He gave his final performance on June 10 at the semiannual Jam & Bread student showcase for the ballroom workshops.
- Hersal Thomas (1906 –1926)
He was an American jazz-blues pianist and composer. He recorded a number of sides for Okeh Records in 1925 and 1926.
Thomas was born in Houston, Texas, and displayed an early talent for blues playing and composition. He was one of several musicians in his family. His brother George W. Thomas was also a skilled piano player.
Though he died at a young age, Thomas was nonetheless an influence on the Chicago boogie woogie school of pianists. Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis both cited him as an influence. The Thomas brothers also co-wrote “The Fives”, which Ammons and Lewis cited as an essential boogie-woogie number.
In 1926, he recorded a session with Hociel Thomas and Louis Armstrong.
Sippie Wallace (blues singer) recorded seven of his compositions: “A Jealous Woman Like Me”, “A Man For Every Day Of The Week”, “Dead Drunk Blues”, “Have You Ever Been Down?”, “I Feel Good”, “Shorty George Blues” and “Trouble Everywhere I Roam”.
Thomas died of food poisoning while working at Penny’s Pleasure Inn in Detroit, Michigan. The circumstances of his death have never been clarified
- Hilario Durán (1953)
Hilario Durán was born Havana, Cuba.
Durán studied at the Arnadeo Roldan Music Institute in Havana,studying tumbao with Evaristo Aparicio, composition and conducting from German Pifferrer, and orchestration from Guillermo Barreto.
He formed a group in the 1970s called Los D’Siempre, which melded traditional Cuban elements with those of modern jazz.
From 1981 to 1990 he worked in Arturo Sandoval‘s band. He also worked with Dizzy Gillespie‘s United Nation Orchestra and Michel Legrand.
In 1990 he formed a new group, Perspectiva, and toured Central America and Europe.
From 1995 he worked as a solo artist in Toronto, Canada, and has collaborated over the course of his career with many artists: Tata Güines,Changuito, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Jorge Reyes, Roberto Occhipinti, Larry Cramer, John Patitucci, Michael Brecker, Regina Carter, Dave Valentin, Juan Pablo Torres, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, Hugh Marsh, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Lenny Andrade, Quartetto Gelato and the Gryphon Trio.
Duran was nominated for Juno Awards in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007, winning in 2005 for New Danzon.
- Hilton Ruiz (1952 – 2006)
Hilton Ruiz was an Nuyorican (Puerto Rican descent born in NY).jazz pianist in the Afro-Cuban jazz mold, but was also a talented bebop player.
Ruiz began playing piano at the age of five, at age eight he performed at Carnegie Hall. While still in his teens he gigged with trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Joe Newman.
Later, he was sax tenor Roland Kirk‘s main pianist from 1974 to 1977 and was featured on such records as The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color and The Return of the 5000 Lb. Man.
Ruiz also recorded several solo albums between the 1980s and 2000s.
On May 19, 2006, Ruiz was found unconscious on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where he had gone to promote a CD benefiting the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The police filed a report that he had injured himself in an accidental fall. Ruiz was hospitalized in a coma and died without regaining consciousness a week after his 54th birthday.
Ruiz was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey and he was buried at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in New York City.
- Hiromi Uehara (1979)
Hiromi Uehara known as Hiromi, is a jazz composer and pianist born inHamamatsu, Japan.
She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as post-bop, progressive rock, classical and jazz fusion in her compositions.
Hiromi started learning classical piano at age five, and was later introduced to jazz by her piano teacher Noriko Hikida.
At 14, she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
When she was 17, she met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day.
She enrolled to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There, she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and had already signed with jazz label Telarc before her graduation.
Since her debut in 2003, Hiromi has toured the world and appeared in numerous jazz festivals. She performed live at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 8, 2009, and at the Paris Olympia in Paris on April 13, 2010, and toured in the summer of 2010 with the Stanley Clarke Band.
Hiromi’s trio initially consisted of bassist Mitch Cohn and drummer Dave DiCenso. In 2004, she recorded her second album Brain with fellow Berklee alumni bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora and has been recording and touring with them ever since.
On October 19, 2006, the trio added guitarist David Fiuczynski in a performance at the Jazz Factory in Louisville, Kentucky, to form Hiromi’s Sonicbloom. He is also featured in the albums Time Control and Beyond Standard. Due to Fiuczynski’s teaching commitments at Berklee, guitarist John Shannon performed with the group when Fiuczynski was unavailable.
Drummer Mauricio Zottarelli joined Hiromi’s Sonicbloom for the 2009 tour.
Bassist Anthony Jackson was guest artist on two Brain tracks and is featured on her 2011 album Voice, 2012 album Move and 2014 album Alive, along with drummer Simon Philips.
Her most recent tour (2014) features Anthony Jackson (bass) and Steve Smith (drums).
- Howard “The Demon” Whaley (1927-1992)
Pianist, organist and teacher, he was also a gifted painter. One of the most versatile pianists in the country (say the drummer Lindy Ewell).
Howard Glover Whaley, with two nicknames: The Demon and Mr Whaley, was born with so perfect pitch that his mother thought he could become an excellent violinist, but young Howard convinced her to switch him to the piano.
Mr. Whaley had been the pianist in the drummer Lindy Ewell Trio since about 1950 for 40 years. “God granted him absolute pitch. If he heard a trolley bell ring, he’d go inside and hit the same note on the piano.”
When Mr. Whaley was growing up, his family lived in a housing project in North Philadelphia. His first piano lessons, about age 10, were given by a woman who lived nearby. Later, he was tutored by a Mr. Harmon, who charged Mrs. Whaley 50 cents a lesson to teach her son during the Depression.
Mr. Whaley was still in his teens when he started playing the boogie- woogie, then the musical rage, at parties.
He was a standout in the band at Benjamin Franklin High School, where he graduated at 16 in 1944, said his brother.
At 17, Mr. Whaley lied about his age and joined the Army. He was decorated for World War II service during combat in the Pacific. While on leave (mientras se licenciaba), he played piano for soldiers, said his brother.
He was discharged in 1947 and attended the now-closed School Academy of Theater Arts in Center City, where he graduated with top honors, according to his brother.
Even before Mr. Whaley had learned musical fundamentals such as theory and composition at the academy, he was gaining notice. Mr. Whaley, his late brother Alfred, a bassist, and two other young men were the warm-up act.
Mr. Whaley later started playing rhythm and blues with a group headed by Armand Wilson. !The group broke up and he joined me. It was the start of a friendship that lasted more than 40 years.” Said the drummer Ewell.
Not only was Mr. Whaley an accomplished pianist, organist and teacher, he was also a gifted painter, Ewell said.
He played also with the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Sonny Stitt and with equal enthusiasm at area churches.
Dizzy Gillespie dubbed (apodó) him “the demon” because of his pounding and well- placed strokes on the keyboard, said his brother Russell.
He taught organ to aspiring musicians, but even professionals would seek him out, said Russell. He had a sizable repertoire and a range of styles.
Influeces: He said his brother’s idol was the great pianist Art Tatum, whose technique he copied.
Mr. Whaley, 65, died in his North Philadelphia home of lung cancer. Burial is at Northwood Cemetery, 15th and Haines Streets, West Oak Lane.
· Ian Stewart (1932-1985)
Ian Andrew Robert Stewart was a Scottish keyboardist, co-founder of The Rolling Stones (the sixth Stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was dismissed from the line-up in May 1963 but he remained as road manager and pianist.
Born at Kirklatch Farm, Pittenweem, East Neuk, Fife, Scotland, and raised in Sutton, Surrey, Stewart (often called Stu) started playing piano when he was six. He took up the banjo and played with amateur groups on both instruments.
Stewart, who loved rhythm & blues, boogie-woogie, blues and big-band jazz, was first to respond to Brian Jones‘s advertisement in Jazz News of 2 May 1962 seeking musicians to form a rhythm & blues group. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards joined in June, and the group, with Dick Taylor on bass and Mick Avory on drums, played their first gig under the name The Rollin’ Stones at the Marquee Club on 12 July 1962. By December 1962 and January 1963, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts had joined, replacing a series of bassists and drummers.
Richards described meeting Stewart thus: “He used to play boogie-woogie piano in jazz clubs, apart from his regular job. He blew my head off too, when he started to play. I never heard a white piano player play like that before.”
Stewart had a job at Imperial Chemical Industries and he bought a van to transport the group and their equipment to their gigs.
In early May 1963, the band’s manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, said Stewart should no longer be onstage, that six members were too many for a popular group and that the older, burly, and square-jawed Stewart did not fit the image!!!!!!!!!!!!
He said Stewart could stay as road manager and play piano on recordings. Stewart accepted this demotion. Richards said: “[Stu] might have realised that in the way it was going to have to be marketed, he would be out of sync, but that he could still be a vital part. I’d probably have said, ‘Well, fuck you’, but he said ‘OK, I’ll just drive you around.’That takes a big heart, but Stu had one of the largest hearts around.”
He played piano and occasionally organ on most of the band’s albums in the first decades, as well as providing criticism.
Shortly after Stewart’s death Mick Jagger said: “He really helped this band swing, on numbers like ‘Honky Tonk Women‘ and loads of others. Stu was the one guy we tried to please. We wanted his approval when we were writing or rehearsing a song. We’d want him to like it.”
Stewart contributed piano, organ, marimbas and/or percussion to all Rolling Stones albums released between 1964 and 1986, except for Their Satanic Majesties Request and Beggars Banquet.
Stewart was not the only keyboard player who worked extensively with the band: Jack Nitzsche, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, and Ian McLagan all supplemented his work.Stewart played piano on numbers of his choosing throughout tours in 1969, 1975–76, 1978 and 1981–82. Stewart favoured blues and country rockers, and remained dedicated to boogie-woogie and early rhythm & blues. He refused to play in minor keys, saying: “When I’m on stage with the Stones and a minor chord comes along, I lift my hands in protest.”
Stewart contributed to Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” from Led Zeppelin IV and “Boogie with Stu” from Physical Graffiti, two numbers in traditional rock and roll vein, both featuring his boogie-woogie style. Another was Howlin’ Wolf‘s 1971 The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions album, featuring Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Steve Winwood, and Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. He also played piano and organ on the 1982 Bad to the Bone album of George Thorogood and the Destroyers. ´
Stewart contributed to The Rolling Stones’ 1983 Undercover, and was present during the 1985 recording for Dirty Work (released in 1986).
In early December 1985, Stewart began having respiratory problems. On 12 December he went to a clinic to have the problem examined; he suffered a heart attack and died in the waiting room.
The Stones played a tribute gig with Rocket 88 in February 1986 at London’s 100 Club.
When the Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, they requested Stewart’s name be included.
In his 2010 autobiography Life, Keith Richards says: “Ian Stewart. I’m still working for him. To me the Rolling Stones is his band. Without his knowledge and organisation… we’d be nowhere.”
On 19 April 2011, pianist Ben Waters released an Ian Stewart tribute album.
- Jimmy Blythe (1901 –1931)
He was an influential American jazz and boogie-woogie pianist.
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, and moved to Chicago, Illinois around 1916, studying with pianist Clarence “Pinetop” Jones.
He was an all-round pianist, who generally incorporated boogie-woogie styles into more varied pieces such as “Chicago Stomps” (1924) which drew on ragtime and other popular styles of the time.
He made hundreds of piano rolls in the early 1920s, for the Columbia (later renamed Capitol) Music Roll Company in Chicago, before accompanying many singers on Paramount Records and appearing with small ‘spasm bands’ like the Midnight Rounders and the State Street Ramblers.
He also duetted with Johnny Dodds, and led his own groups, including Blythe’s Sinful Five and Jimmy Blythe’s Owls.
Altogether, James Blythe is known, or thought, to have appeared on at least 243 recordings.
His 1925 recording, “Jimmie Blues”, provided the theme used by Pinetop Smith on “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” the single most influential boogie woogie composition of all time, and he was also acknowledged as an influence by Albert Ammons.
Blythe died of meningitis in Chicago in 1931, aged 30.
- Joe Sealy (1939)
He is a Canadian jazz musician
Joe Sealy has enjoyed a highly successful career as a musician, composer, recording artist and radio broadcaster. As a pianist, he has toured with “Blood Sweat and Tears” and performed with such artists as Joe Williams, Milt Jackson, Veronica Tennant, and Timothy Findlay.
Joe and his longtime music partner bassist Paul Novotny have created a unique sounding jazz duo. Together they have released four CD’s, achieved two Juno nominations and shared the concert stage in Montreal & Toronto jazz festivals with Michel Petruciani, Brad Mehldau / Charlie Haden, Red Mitchell / Herb Ellis and the Bobo Stenson Trio.
Besides being president of Triplet Records Inc., Joe has hosted his own weekly radio show “Joe Sealy’s Duets” on Jazz FM 91 now in its’ fifth season.
Joe was also the music director of the acclaimed “Tonya Lee Williams Gospel Jubilee”television special and several CBC radio specials.
He has recently composed original film scores for two documentary films entitled, “The Little Black School House” and “Directors Speak”.
Most recently, Joe acted as producer, arranger and pianist on a CD entitled “Mostly About You” featuring vocalist Colin Hunter.
He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2010.
- Juno Awards of 1982 – Nominee for Best Jazz Album – Clear Vision
- Juno Awards of 1995 – Nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album – Dual Vision
- Juno Awards of 1997 – Winner for Best Contemporary Jazz Album – Africville Suite
- Juno Awards of 2000 – Nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album – Instrumental – Blue Jade
- Joe Sullivan (1906 –1971)
Another victim of alcohol.
Michael Joseph “Joe” O’Sullivan was the ninth child of Irish immigrant parents. Hestudied classical piano for 12 years and at age 17, he began to play popular music in a club where he was exposed to jazz.
He graduated from the Chicago Conservatory and was an important contributor to theChicago jazz scene of the 1920s.
Sullivan’s recording career began towards the end of 1927 when he joined “McKenzie & Condon Chicagoans”, Red McKenzie (Kazoo, a musical instrument that adds a “buzzing” timbral quality) and guitarist and banjo Eddie Condon’s Chicagoans. Other musicians in his circle included Jimmy McPartland (cornetist), Frank Teschemacher(clarinetist and alto-saxophonist), Bud Freeman (tenor saxophonist), Jim Lanigan (bassist and tubist) and Gene Krupa (big band drummer).
In 1933, he joined Bing Crosby as his accompanist, recording and making many radio broadcasts.
After suffering for two years withtuberculosis, he briefly rejoined Bing Crosby in 1938 and the Bob Crosby Orchestra in 1939.
By the 1950s, Sullivan was largely forgotten, playing solo in San Francisco. Marital difficulties and excessive drinking caused Sullivan to become increasingly unreliable and unable to keep a steady job, either as band member or soloist.
The British poet (and jazz pianist) Roy Fisher celebrated Sullivan’s playing with a poem,“The Thing About Joe Sullivan”, regarded by some critics as one of the best poems about jazz. Fisher also used that title for a book of his selected poems, because (he said) he felt Sullivan was a neglected master who deserved to have his name on the cover of a book
- Joe Turner (1907 – 1990)
Joseph H. Turner was born in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. One of the masters of the stride piano style associated with Harlem, New York City.
Born in Baltimore, he started to learn the piano from his mother at age five and began to make a name for himself in Harlem as a teenager shortly after his move to New York in 1925.
Turner got his first big musical break in 1928 with his hiring by the Benny Carter (alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter) Orchestra. He also played with trumpeter Louis Armstrong.
He worked with Adelaide Hall (jazz singer), Alex Hill (American jazz pianist) (duet). and then with Francis Carter (1895-1950), the latter with whom he and Hall toured Europe in 1931. He remained in Europe through 1939 when war broke out, upon which hereturned to the U.S. to work as a singer.
After playing with trumpeter Sy Oliver‘s army band in 1944-1945 and Rex Stewart (trumpeter and cornetist, best remembered for his work with the Duke Ellington orchestra in 1946), Turner returned to Europe, residing in Hungary in 1948 and then Switzerland from 1949 to 1962. He settled in Paris in 1962 but continued to play engagements elsewhere in Europe and occasionally the U.S., and eventually survived to became the last major active stride pianist of his era. Among his few available albums is a 1984 project with Knocky Parker and his Houserockers on Southland.
In Paris, he played at La Calavados, a nightclub situated near the Champs Elysees until his death from a heart attackin 1990, at the age of 82.
Though endlessly confused with the singer Big Joe Turner, pianist Joe Turner came from a completely different direction, following the James P. Johnson/Fats Waller stride tradition, armed with a superb technique and a fine sense of swing.
- John Albert “Johnny” Guarnieri (1917-1985)
Guarnieri was a great stride pianist but is specially noted for his embellishment and juxtaposition of jazz with classical piano, such as Scarlatti and Beethoven.
He was born in New York City.
In 1937 he joined the George Hall orchestra but he is perhaps best known for his big band stints with Benny Goodman in 1939 and with Artie Shaw in 1940.
Throughout the 1940s Guarnieri was a busy sideman, recording with artists such as guitarist Charlie Christian and tenor sax Ben Webster among others.
He also led his own group called the “Johnny Guarnieri Swing Men” and recorded with them on the Savoy label, a group that included Lester Young (tenor saxophonist) , Hank D’Amico (clarinet), Billy Butterfield (trumpeter, flugelhornist and cornetist) and Cozy Cole(drummer).
He also led a trio in the 1940s composed of himself, Slam Stewart (double bassist) and Sammy Weiss (drummer), recording again for Savoy.
During the 1940s he also recorded for the short-lived Majestic label, playing solo pianoand with his trio.
In the 1940s he also played harpsichord in a small band made up of musicians from Shaw’s band; his solos were the first recorded on that instrument in jazz.
In 1949 Guarnieri recorded an album with June Christy entitled June Christy & The Johnny Guarnieri Quintet.
In his later years Guarnieri shifted more toward jazz education. In commemoration of his reputation as a teacher, Guarnieri’s students financed a label for him called “Taz Jazz Records”. In the 1970s Guarnieri recorded numerous albums on his new label, and until 1982 worked at the “Tail of the Cock” nightclub in Studio City, California.
In the early 1980s, Guarnieri recorded Johnny Guarnieri Plays Duke Ellington on a Bösendorfer Grand “SE” player piano, for the Live-Performance Jazz Series.
Guarnieri was based in Los Angeles later in his life, but traveled to New York in January 1985. He played at the Vineyard Theatre at east 26th street in New York City on January 6, but had to stop at the intermission because of dizziness. He was admitted to St Barnabas hospital in Livingston, New Jersey the following day, where he died following a heart attack.
- John DeFrancesco (1940)
Papa John DeFrancesco is an American jazz organist and vocalist, and father of Joey DeFrancesco (jazz organist) and Johnny DeFrancesco (blues guitarist). He received the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Living Legend Award in 2013.
- John di Martino
Mr. di Martino
Born in Philadelphia, John was a student of Lennie Tristano and Don Sebesky.
Composer, Arranger, Pianist,has recorded many CD’s for Venus Records with his“Romantic Jazz Trio”
Noted for his versatility, John has performed and recorded with such notables as Kenny Burrell, Joe Lovano, Diane Schurr , Billy Eckstine, Pat Martino, Paquito D’Rivera, among others.
John’s talents as arranger and pianist can be heard on recordings with Vocalists: Gloria Lynn, Grady Tate and R & B artists Joe Thomas and Chico DeBarge.
John di Martino was a long time member of the Drummer, percussionist, bandleader, composer Ray Barretto’s “New World Spirit”. Barretto played the conga in recording sessions for the Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees. In 1975, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the song “Barretto was newly nominated for a Grammy for Barretto Live…Tomorrow in 1979.
In his latest recordings: “Love” (Sony Masterworks ) with Cuban singer, Issac Delgado and “Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B” (High Note Records ) have received Grammy nominations!
- John Medeski (1965)
Medeski performs in a range of musical styles, from accessible groove based funk and jazz to more experimental music, moreover of being a member of The Word, a bluesy gospel style project.
Anthony John Medeski is an American jazz keyboards (piano, organ, electronic) player and composer.
Medeski is a veteran of New York’s 1990s avant-garde jazz scene and is known popularly as a member of Medeski Martin & Wood.
He plays the acoustic piano and an eclectic array of keyboards, including the Hammond B3 organ, melodica, mellotron, clavinet, ARP String Ensemble, Wurlitzer electric piano,Moog Voyager Synthesizer, among other sounds.
Medeski was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in Florida.
After studying piano as a child (starting when he was five years old), he began as a teenager to perform with musicians such as Mark Murphy and Jaco Pastorius.
In 1983, after graduating from high school, he began studying piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he performed as a sideman with Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins, Bob Mintzer, Alan Dawson and Mr. Jellybelly.
Influence: Medeski attributes his early interest in playing improvised music and jazz to listening to Oscar Peterson.
Medeski performs in a range of musical styles, from accessible groove based funk and jazz (such as the MMW albums and A Go Go with John Scofield) to more experimental music (including many of John Zorn‘s projects: Duras: Duchamp, Interzone, Liber Novus, Nova Express,Dreamachines, Templars: In Sacred Blood, At the Gates of Paradise etc. and collaborations with David Fiuczynski).
Medeski is best known for his work with Medeski Martin & Wood including drummer and percussionist Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood.
In 2000, Medeski became a member of The Word, a bluesy gospel style project with members Robert Randolph (pedal steel) from Robert Randolph and the Family Band, brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar) and Cody Dickinson (drums), and Chris Chew (bass) of North Mississippi Allstars. The band released a self-titled album in 2001 and toured in 2001 and 2002. The band reunited in 2005 for a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and they embarked on tour again in late 2007.
Medeski was keyboardist for the Trey Anastasio (guitarist) Band 2001–2002 tour. He has also occasionally performed with Phil Lesh (ex-bassist of the Grateful Dead), and Friends.
Medeski was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards’ judging panel to support independent artists.
In 2006, John Medeski & The Itch performed their debut gig at the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, West Virginia. The Itch consists of Eric Krasno (guitar) of Soulive and Adam Deitch (drums) with Medeski playing a B3 Organ.
Medeski is featured on guitarist Will Bernard’s Blue Plate Special CD released September 2008.
- Jörg Hegemann (1966)
Jörg Hegemann Dortmund) is a boogie-woogie pianist German.
Jörg Hegemann perform since 1987 and was a founding member of the band “The Chicago Four”.The biggest success of the band was a gig as the opening act of the Blues Brothers 1989 Hagen City Hall.
Since 1995, Jörg Hegemann leads a trio of boogie with Reinhard “Django” Kroll on bass and drummer Jan friend.
Hegemann toured Europe and was with the blues and boogie-woogie festival in Beaune (France), Brussels (Belgium), Ermelo (Netherlands), Fomag (England), Lugano (Switzerland), Terrassa (Catalonia), Wels (Austria ) and probably the biggest French Laroquebrou guest.
Since 2008, he has been musical director of the annual series of concerts “Boogie Woogie Congress” in the Philharmonie Essen and “master of the Boogie Woogie” in the house moated castle Opherdicke.
Jörg Hegemann embodies the classic style of Boogie Woogie.
He honoured Albert Ammons, one of aprent of boogie-woogie style on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Ammons’s birth in 2007, with his album A Tribute To Albert Ammons.
- José Curbelo (1917-2012)
He was a Cuban-born American pianist and manager.
Curbelo was a key figure in Latin jazz in New York City in the 1940s and helped to popularize Mambo and the cha cha dance in the 1950s.
Both of Curbelo’s parents were born in Havana Cuba, but his father had studied classical violin in the United States before returning to play with the Havana Philharmonic.
He studied under Pedro Menendez as a child and graduated from the Molinas Conservatory at age 15. +
In the 1930s he played with Cuban orchestras and formed the Orquesta Havana Riverside before moving to New York in 1939.
In NY he played in the ensembles of Xavier Cugat, Juancito Sanabria, and José Morand early in the 1940s.
In 1942 founded his own ensemble. Among the musicians who played in Curbelo’s band were percussionists Candido and Tito Puente, and singer Tito Rodriguez; the group split time between New York and Miami, and played in some of both cities’ top nightclubs and ballrooms.
Starting in 1953, Curbelo worked with a sextet which included Al Cohn (tenor sax)and Jack Hitchcock (vibraphone). This group was arranged by Cohn himself and Puente as well as Rene Hernandez and Chico O’Farrill.
Curbelo’s band recorded several albums in the cha-cha style for Morand’s Fiesta Records in the 1950s. Curbelo wrote unforgettable songs in this period (“La La la”, “La familia”, “La Runidera” (1946), “Sun Sun babae” (1952), “Mambo y cha cha cha”); these songs have since been sung by Ray Barreto and Oscar de Leon.
Curbelo disbanded the group in 1959 and took up managing, founding an agency for Latin musicians called Alpha Artists.
Throughout the 1960s, Curbelo managed most of the major Latin bands in New Yorkand was successful in negotiating favorably with promoters on behalf of his artists.
Curbelo invested in real estate later in life and moved to Miami in the 1980s, where he continued booking artists for festivals.
He died in 2012 after spending the last few months of his life at a hospice in Aventura, Florida
- Jovino Santos-Neto (1954)
He was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is multi-instrumentalist(jazz pianist,flutist), composer, arranger, educator and producer.
Jovino Santos Neto started playing piano at age 13.
By 16, was playing keyboards in a band called The Vacancy Group in Bangu, West Zone of Rio.
Santos Neto earned a degree in Biology, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and later from Macdonald College of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
In 1977, he joined the group led by Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, working as a pianist, flutist, composer, arranger and producer.
Since leaving Hermeto’s group in 1992 and relocating to the United States, Santos Neto has released several recordings and toured internationally as the leader of his own ensemble, and also in collaboration with musicians such as Airto Moreira (drummer and percussionist), Flora Purim (Brazilian jazz singer), and Mike Marshall (mandolin player and multi-instrumentalist).
Santos Neto teaches at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts and is a frequent teacher at Jazz Camp West.
- Artist Trust Fellowship, 2001
- IAJE/ASCAP (International Association for Jazz Education/American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Commission) for an established composer, 2002
- Chamber Music America New Works jazz composition award, 2003
- Best Instrumental Album (nomination), Live at Caramoor, 2009 Latin Grammy Awards
- Best Latin Jazz Album (nomination), Canto do Rio, 2004 Latin Grammy Awards
- Best Latin Jazz Album (nomination), Roda Carioca, 2006 Latin Grammy Awards
- Earshot Jazz Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year, 2004
- Katie Webster (1936 – 1999)
She was born Kathryn Jewel Thorne and was an American boogie-woogie pianist.
Webster was initially best known as a session musician behind Louisiana musicians on the Excello and Goldband record labels, such as Lightnin Slim and Lonesome Sundown.
She also played piano with Otis Redding in the 1960s, but after his death went into semi-retirement.
In the 1980s she was repeatedly booked for European tours and recorded albums for the German record label, Ornament Records.
She cut You Know That’s Right with the band Hot Links, and the album that established her in the United States, The Swamp Boogie Queen with guest spots by Bonnie Raitt and Robert Cray. She performed at both the San Francisco Blues Festival and Long Beach Blues Festival.
Webster suffered a stroke in 1993 while touring Greece and returned to performing the following year.
She died from heart failure in League City, Texas, in 1999.
- Keith Emerson (1944)
Keith Noel Emerson is an English keyboardist and composer. He was formerly a member of the Keith Emerson Trio, John Brown’s Bodies, The T-Bones,The V.I.P.’s, P.P. Arnold‘s backing band, The Nice, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), one of the early supergroups.
Emerson was born in Todmorden, Yorkshire while his family had been evacuated from the south coast of England during the war, and grew up in the seaside resort of Worthing, West Sussex. As a child, he learned western classical music, from which he derived a lot of inspiration to create his own style, combining classical music, jazz, and rock themes.
Emerson became intrigued with the Hammond organ after hearing jazz organist Jack McDuff perform “Rock Candy” and it subsequently became his instrument of choice for performing in the late 1960s. Emerson acquired his first Hammond organ when he was 15 or 16, an L-100, on hire purchase.
In 1969 he take part in Music From Free Creek “supersession” project, where Emerson performs with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Chuck Rainey covering,
Emerson first found success with The Nice in the late 1960s before going on to become a founding member of ELP in 1970. ELP were critically and commercially successful through much of the 1970s, becoming one of the best-known progressive rock groups of the era.
Along with contemporaries Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, Tony Banks of Genesis, Billy Ritchie of Clouds, Rick Wakeman of Yes, and Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Emerson is widely regarded as one of the top keyboard players of the progressive rock era. Allmusic refers to Emerson as “perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history”.
In 1969, Emerson incorporated the Moog modular synthesiser into his battery of keyboards. While other artists such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had used the Moog in studio recordings, Emerson was the first artist to tour with one. Emerson’s use of the Moog was so important to the development of new models that he was given prototypes, such as the Constellation he took on one tour and the Apollo, which had its debut on the opening track of Brain Salad Surgery, “Jerusalem.”
The so-called “Monster Moog,” built from numerous modules, weighed in at a whopping 550 pounds, stood 10 feet tall and took 4 roadies to move. Even with its unpredictability, it became an indispensable component of not only ELP’s concerts but also Emerson’s.
He is known for his technical skill
He has cited guitarist Jimi Hendrix and English organist Don Shinn (rock progressive but not a jazz player) as his chief theatrical influences.
Emerson has performed several notable rock arrangements of classical and jazz compositions.
Emerson provided music for a number of films since 1980, including Dario Argento‘s Inferno and World of Horror, the 1981 thriller Nighthawks and, more recently, Godzilla: Final Wars. He was also the composer for the short-lived 1994 animated television series Iron Man.
In 1990 Emerson toured with The Best, a short-lived supergroup which also included John Entwistle, Joe Walsh, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Simon Phillips.
In 2002 Emerson re-formed and toured with The Nice, though performing a longer set of ELP music using a backing band including guitarist/vocalist Dave Kilminster.
Emerson opened the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert (born in 1923 in Istanbul, Turkey, the founder of Atlanctic records, dead in 2006) at the O2 Arena in London on 10 December 2007, with Chris Squire and Alan White (Yes) and Simon Kirke(Bad Company/Free). The supergroup played the new arrangement of Fanfare for the Common Man. The stars in that mythical concert were Led Zeppelin
Emerson toured with Greg Lake in the US and Canada during spring of 2010, doing a series of “An Intimate Evening with Emerson and Lake” duo shows in which they performed newly arranged versions of the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Nice, and King Crimson as well as Emerson’s new original composition.
On 25 July 2010, a one-off Emerson, Lake & Palmer reunion concert closed the High Voltage Festival as the main act in Victoria Park, East London to commemorate the band’s 40th anniversary.
He occasionally sits in with jazz orchestras performing new arrangements of ELP pieces as well as standard jazz pieces.
In 2014 Emerson was inducted into the Hammond Hall of Fame.
On stage Emerson started out on Hammond organ, with a grand piano toward the back of the stage.
He would sometimes reach into the interior of his piano and hit, pluck or strum the strings with his hand.
- Ken Skinner (1962)
Kenneth Skinner Jr. is a jazz pianist, head of the group Ken Skinner and the jazzmongers!.
Ken Skinner Jr. was born in Montreal, Quebec, on June 28, 1962. His father, Kenny Skinner, Sr. (1932–2006) was also a jazz pianist. Kenny Sr. played with Charlie Biddle, Dougie Richardson, Nelson Symonds and was the older boy keeping an eye on younger cousins Oliver Jones and Norman Marshall Villeneuve. Kenny Sr. also played with numerous luminaries of jazz legend as they passed through 1950s and 1960s Montreal.
Skinner Jr. studied briefly with Daisy Sweeney, who is Oscar Peterson‘s sister. Their brother, Chuck Peterson, was Ken’s godfather.
Skinner Jr. proved to be a prodigy moving through his piano lessons quickly and finishing his exams with honours. Ken’s parents separated in 1970. Ken’s mother Ramona moved him and his brother Norman to Trenton, Ontario.
In Trenton, he began playing guitar at age 14. While in high school, the music department needed a bass player, so Skinner learned to play it and joined the high school jazz stage band. He then joined local working bands, including the Frank Howard Dance Orchestra and Don Kennedy’s Country Renegades. Skinner used the guitar to re-teach himself to talk to his first love, the piano. By the time Ken had graduated high school, he had moved himself out of Trenton to nearby Belleville, Ontario, where he re-taught himself piano. His first performance on piano was in the local gallery, where he played his own score for the 1925 silent Charlie Chaplin classic The Gold Rush.
Ken became the house pianist at Dinkel’s Restaurant in Belleville and formed a friendship with Paul W. Dinkel, best known at the time for his Yorkville club PWD’s. It was good experience to help Skinner’s ability to read a room and play into it. After 2 years Ken moved to Toronto.
After moving to Toronto, Ken became the keyboardist for a touring rock band namedSister Angel. He played not only keboars but also, occasionally, guitar or bass and harmony vocals. It was a time for Ken to write music and lyrics, travel across Canada, and hone his skills as a stage performer.
After two years on the road, Ken returned to Toronto where he formed the jazzmongers! in 1989.
In 1990 he toured to New York City with Maggie Moore and later worked closely with Salome Bey on her production Rainbow World, co-writing music to her lyrics. By 1992 the jazzmongers! were a full-time operation with a house gig at La Calle.
Ken Skinner is probably best known as leader, pianist and chief composer of the successful jazzmongers! re-creating the Blue Note sounds of the 60s.”
Ken Skinner and the jazzmongers! recordings have showcased jazz players such as Bob Mover, Kirk MacDonald, Kevin Turcotte, Jake Wilkinson and Duncan Hopkins.
Also, Ken has sat in at jam sessions with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and others. His jazz material can be found on 2 CDs on the Village Jazz label, with inclusion on a compilation CD entitled “Kin Of Kensington” which celebrates the works of musicians living in or have lived in Toronto’sKensington Market, also One Lucky Piano, produced by JAZZ FM 91 in Toronto featuring a solo performance of Ken’s “Littlebird Lied”. One Lucky Piano features 16 of Canada’s premiere pianists all recorded on the piano formerly housed in the famed “Montreal Bistro” in Toronto.
Skinner’s music has been included in 3 feature length films, 2 videos, with numerous appearances on television and radio. Of those films is “Pitch“ produced by Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice who now enjoy fame as “Kenny and Spenny”. The jazzmongers! can be seen also in the Warner Brothers film It Takes Two (1995), with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Steve Guttenberg and Kirstie Alley.
During a period of activity in 1996, he worked rather closely with prima ballerina Kimberley Glasco, of the National Ballet of Canada, on two separate projects, one of those being a Bravo! video for “Jombo Memsahb” found on the jazzmongers! first release Stirling Silver. A second video, also for the Bravo! network, “Maroon” is the title track of the jazzmongers! second release, earning Ken the title of Bravo! artist of the week.
- Kenn Cox (1940 – 2008)
Kenny Cox was a jazz pianist performing in the post bop, hard bop and bebop mediums.
Cox was pianist for singer Etta Jones during the 1960s and was also a member ofa quintet led by trombonist George Bohannon.
By the end of the late 1960s he had formed his own Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quintet, which recorded two albums for Blue Note Records before the end of the decade.
Cox has appeared as a contributor on various albums, and has also performed live with many musicians as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Eddie Harris, Jackie McLean, Roy Haynes, Ben Webster, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Dorham, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Roy Brooks, Charles McPherson, and Curtis Fuller.
During the 1980s he formed the Detroit-based Guerilla Jam Band, a group which performed with Regina Carter, James Carter, Tani Tabbal, and Craig Taborn.
Cox was responsible for the short-lived Strata Records.
- Kevin Hays (1968)
Kevin Hays, born in New York City, is a jazz pianist. He was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is known for the Kevin Hays Trio and being in the Bill Stewart Trio.
He began studying piano at the age of six and was playing professionally by 15, finding himself two years later, playing with baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola.
After spending a year at the Manhattan School of Music to perfect his skills, he began travelling around the U.S., Japan, and Europe with various bands, including The Harper Brothers, Benny Golson (tenor sax), Joe Henderson (tenor sax) and Eddie Gomez(double bassist) .
Featured on dozens of recordings with a variety of leading jazz artists, ten CDs as leader, three on Blue Note Records, he has played with Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, John Scofield, Donald Harrison, Chris Potter, Al Foster, Buster Williams, Art Farmer, among others.
In 1994 he signed a contract with Blue Note, releasing three recordings which received favourable reviews (críticas) . His Seventh Sense (1994), praised (alabado) by the New York Times, was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Jazz Releases of the Year” by Musician Magazine; and “Andalucia” (1997) !!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in spite of his title it is not flamenco-fusion), featuring Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, was voted four stars by DownBeat Magazine.
In 1995 Sonny Rollins (tenor sax) invited Kevin to join his group, and a year and a half later guitarist John Scofield wanted Hays to tour in his celebrated “Quiet” band.
Kevin Hays continues to perform worldwide in solo concerts and as a member of The Sangha Quartet, which features young and well known overseas jazz players such as Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Larry Grenadier (double bass), and Bill Stewart (drums): with this quartet he has recorded Fear of Roaming, where he contributed five compositions and one arrangement.
His own trio (Kevin Hays Trio), which lines up as permanent elements bass player Doug Weiss and Bill Stewart on drums, demonstrates both his innate talent for arrangements and his high-level piano technique.
- Kirk Lightsey (1937)
Kirkland “Kirk” Lightsey (born in Detroit, Michigan) is an American jazz pianist.
Lightsey had piano instruction from the age of five and studied piano and clarinetthrough high school. Later he studied flute too and and occasionally doubles on flute in live performances.
After service in the Army, Lightsey worked in Detroit and California in the 1960s as an accompanist to singers like Betty Carter (an American jazz singer known for her improvisational technique).
He also worked with jazz musicians such as Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, flute, oboe), Pharoah Sanders (tenor and soprano sax), Bobby Hutcherson (jazz vibraphone and marimba player; Successor of Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson, Hutcherson is the master of the vibraphone in the era of hard bop.), Sonny Stitt (tenor and alto sax), Chet Baker(trumpeter) , and Kenny Burrell (guitarist).
From 1979 to 1983 he toured with Dexter Gordon (tenor sax) and was a member of The Leaders in the late 1980s. During the 1980s worked with guitarist Jimmy Raney. He led also several sessions of his own, including duets with pianist Harold Danko.
- Lannie Battistini (1958)
Landin “Lannie” Battistini is a pianist/keyboardist, arranger, composer, songwriter, recording artist and producer in several musical genres such as; Latin (salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bossa nova, Afro Cuban) Latin jazz, contemporary and smooth jazz.
Lannie Battistini was born and raised in Mayaguez and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He naturally loved music from the tender age of 5 and developed his gift when his grandmother bought him a toy piano, in which he would mimic and play all the tunes he heard on the radio.
By the age of 15, never having taken one music lesson, his mother was booking him to entertain guests at hotels and private parties.
By the time he was 19 yrs. of age, he was accepted at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by 23 yrs. of age, he finished his studies. He majored in arranging and composition and minored in film scoring, utilizing the piano as his main instrument.
His main influences: Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Keith Jarrett.
Through the years, Lannie developed a unique eclectic style in his arrangements and productions by always re-inventing and creating innovative music styles that are commercially accepted. He also integrates his multi-instrumentalist skills within many music genres in his productions.
Lannie was first known as a performing Pop/Jazz artist before his peers recognized him and respected him as a skilled and well seasoned producer. He also continues to perform at Jazz Festivals and prestigious venues.
In the 28+ years dedicated to his music, he has won numerous recognitions, certificates and awards for his song-writing abilities as well as his performances with Tito Puente and Jose Feliciano among many others. .
While touring for over 2 years with Olga Tañon, one of his album won a Grammy in the Latin Pop category of 2000.
For a while, he lived in Los Angeles, where he was involved in productions with Kenny Passarelli, the bassist for Elton John and produced for the record label Acid Jazz Records.
In 1994, he opened his first studio LKB Music and dedicated most of his time as a producer
At present, Lannie has headquartered his business in Florida and has done so for the past 9 years.
Lannie produced his first album “Hands In Motion- Latin Jazz,” which was released in the spring of 2009. His second CD, “En la Cima” (At the Top) was released internationally through his own label, Hands in Motion Music, in April 2011. His 3rd Latin jazz album,“Nomenclatura” released in May 2014.
- Larry Young (1940-1978)
Larry Young, also known as Khalid Yasin (Abdul Aziz), born in Newark, New Jersey –was an American jazz organist and occasional pianist. Young pioneered a modal approach to the Hammond B-3 (in contrast to Jimmy Smith‘s soul-jazz style). However, he did play soul-jazz also, among other styles.
Young played with various R&B bands in the 1950s before gaining jazz experience.
He recorded as a leader for Prestige from 1960, Young made a number of soul-jazz discs, Testifying, Young Blues and Groove Street.
Influences: When Young went to Blue Note in 1964, his music began to show the marked influence of John Coltrane. In this period, he produced his most enduring work.
He recorded many times as part of a trio with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Elvin Jones, occasionally augmented by additional players.
Young’s Blue Note debut. Unity, recorded in 1965, remains his best-known album.
Young then became a part of some of the earliest fusion experiments: first in Lifetime, Emergency! with Tony Williams and John McLaughlin and also on Miles Davis‘s Bitches Brew.
He is also known to rock fans for a jam he recorded with Jimi Hendrix, which wasreleased after Hendrix’s death on the album Nine to the Universe.
His characteristic sound involved management of the stops on the Hammond organ,producing overtone series that caused an ethereal, drifting effect; a sound that is simultaneously lead and background.
In March 1978 he checked in New York City into the hospital for stomach pains. He died there on March 30, 1978, while being treated for what is said to be pneumonia. However, his actual cause of death is unclear.
- Lee Tomboulian (1960)
Leland Diran Tomboulian, Lee Tomboulian, is an American jazz pianist, accordionist,composer, arranger and educator.
Born in New York City into a music-loving family. He displayed an undeniable afinity for music, and for the piano in particular, by age seven. He was encouraged in this pursuit with several years of private instruction, eventually attending the University of Arkansas, where he earned a BA in composition while minoring in theater arts. He continued to live and work in Arkansas for more than a decade thereafter; it was there that he met his wife-to-be, jazz singer Elizabeth (Betty) Elkins, in the late eighties.
In 1989 he formed the ensemble Circo Verde, featuring original material steeped in themusic of Latin America, especially that of Brazil and Uruguay what self-described“pop-latin-jazz” ensemble more than a decade later.
In 1992, Tomboulian and Elkins were wed, and the following year they departed Arkansas so that Lee could pursue his graduate studies at the University of North Texas, where he would earn a Master of Music in Jazz Studies in 1997. At some point during the Tomboulians’ 12-year stay in Denton, Circo Verde became simply Circo, the name under which its two albums have since been recorded. While earning his degree, Tomboulian also performed and recorded with the university’s celebrated One O’Clock Lab Band, appearing on the CD Lab ’97, as well as providing one of its compositions, “B.B.”.
In 2005, the Tomboulians moved to Wisconsin, with Lee serving as Instructor of Jazz Piano and Improvisation at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton. He continued to serve in this capacity until 2011, when the couple again relocated, this time to New York City. Since then, Tomboulian has released a solo piano CD, Imaginarium (with a number of tracks also incorporating his overdubbed accordion), and has performed frequently, becoming a familiar presence at such venues as Smalls Jazz Club, the Lenox Lounge, and Kitano Jazz
- Little Brother Montgomery (1906-1985)
Eurreal Wilford “Little Brother” Montgomery was an American jazz, boogie-woogie and blues pianist and singer.
Largely self-taught, Montgomery is often thought of as just a blues pianist, but he worked in jazz bands including larger ensembles that used written arrangements.
Although he did not read music, he learned band routines by ear; once through an arrangement and he had it memorized.
Montgomery was born in the town of Kentwood, Louisiana, a sawmill town near the Mississippi Border, across Lake Pontchartrain from the city of New Orleans, where he spent much of his childhood.
As a child he looked like his father, Harper Montgomery, and was called Little Brother Harper. The name evolved into Little Brother Montgomery, a nickname which stuck. He started playing piano at the age of 4, and by age 11 he was playing at variousbarrelhouses in Louisiana.
Jelly Roll Morton used visit the Montgomery household.
He first went to Chicago from W1928 to 1931, where he made his first recordings.
From 1931 through 1938 he led a band in Jackson.
In 1942 Montgomery moved back to Chicago, which would be his base for the rest of his life, with various tours to other United States cities and Europe.
His fame grew in the 1960s, and he continued to make many recordings, including on his own record label, FM Records (formed in 1969). FM came from Floberg, his wife Jan’smaiden name and Montgomery, his own surname.
Montgomery toured Europe several times in the 1960s, and recorded some of his albums there. Montgomery appeared at many blues and folk festivals during the following decade and was considered a living legend, a link to the early days of blues and New Orleans.
Among his original compositions are “Shreveport Farewell”, “Farrish Street Jive”, and “Vicksburg Blues”. His instrumental “Crescent City Blues” served as the basis for a song of the same name by Gordon Jenkins, which in turn was adapted by Johnny Cash as “Folsom Prison Blues.”
In 1968, Montgomery contributed to two albums by Spanky and Our Gang; Like to Get to Know You and Anything You Choose b/w Without Rhyme Or Reason.
Montgomery died on September 6, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, and is interred in the Oak Woods Cemetery.
In 2013, Montgomery was posthumously inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame.
Pianist Paul Gayten is his nephew.
- Louis Chauvin 1881 –1908
Louis Chauvin was an American ragtime musician.He was the brilliant young pianist which Scott Joplin met in St. Louis and so much talked to his friends about it.
Scott and Chavin composed Heliotrope Bouquet, one of the most enchanting of all rags. Chauvin died several months later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Heliotrope being his only published rag. He is primarily remembered today for this rag in which he shares compositional credit with Scott Joplin: the nature of the music seems to indicate that Chauvin provided the basis for the first two strains, while Joplin wrote the last two, and edited the work into a cohesive piece, due to the debilitating effects of Chauvin’s illness.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri of a Mexican Spanish-Indian father and an African-American mother.
He was widely considered the finest pianist in the St. Louis area at the turn of the century. He was part of the ragtime community that met at Tom Turpin‘s Rosebud bar, along with Joe Jordan and others.
Chauvin left only three published compositions and died without having recorded. However, he was long remembered by his peers as an exceptionally gifted performer and composer.
His published works are:
- The Moon is Shining in the Skies (with Sam Patterson, 1903)
- Babe, It’s Too Long Off (words by Elmer Bowman, 1906)
- Heliotrope Bouquet (with Scott Joplin, 1907)
Chauvin died in Chicago at the age of 27 (Multiple sclerosis vs Neurosyphilis). He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.
- Louis Mazetier (1960-liver on)
Louis Mazetier (born February 17, 1960, Paris) is a French stride pianist.
Mazetier began playing jazz at age 14 and by age 18 was taking gigs at jazz clubs in Paris.
In addition to his career as a musician, Dr. Mazetier works full time as a radiologist!!!!!!!!.
He plays with Paris Washboard and has worked on record with Dick Hyman, Francois Rilhac, Alain Marquet, and Neville Dickie, among others, and has released multiple albums as a leader or co-leader, for those companies listed below, as well as the Swiss, Jazz Connoisseur label.
Although Dr. Mazetier is influenced by earlier jazz pianists, such as Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Don Ewell,Johnny Guarnieri, Dick Wellstood, and Art Tatum, his greatest influence appears to be the American stride pianist, Donald Lambert, 1904 – 1962.
- Luckey Roberts (1887 – 1968)
Charles Luckyth Roberts better known as Luckey Roberts, was an American composer and stride pianist who worked in the jazz, ragtime, and blues styles.
Luckey Roberts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He settled in New York City about 1910 and became one of the leading pianists in Harlem, and started publishing some of his original rags.
Roberts toured France and the UK with James Reese Europe during World War I, then returned to New York where he wrote music for various shows and recorded piano rolls.
With James P. Johnson, Roberts developed the stride piano style of playing about 1919.
Robert’s reach on the keyboard was unusually large (he could reach a fourteenth),leading to a rumor that he had the webbing between his fingers surgically cut, which those who knew him and saw him play live denounce as false; Roberts simply hadnaturally large hands with wide finger spread.
In the 1920’s, Roberts teamed up with lyricist Alex C. Rogers and co-wrote three Broadway musicals, Go-Go (1923), Sharlee (1923) and My Magnolia (1926), the later which starred Adelaide Hall, a major black revue star.
Luckey Roberts noted compositions include “Junk Man Rag”, “Moonlight Cocktail“, “Pork and Beans”, and “Railroad Blues”. “Moonlight Cocktail” was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and was the best selling record in the United States for ten weeks in 1942.
An astute businessman, Roberts became a millionaire twice through real estate dealings.
He died in New York City.
- Manfredo Fest (1936 – 1999)
Manfredo Irmin Fest, blind, was a legally blind bossa nova and jazz pianist andkeyboardist from Brazil. He was also a famous bandleader. He was born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and he died at 63 years old in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA.
His father was a concert pianist from Germany who taught at University in Porto Alegre. He was husband of the composer Lili Fest and father of the guitarist Phill Fest.
Although he was blind, Fest learned to read music in Braille. His initial musical training had been classical, but at 17 years old, he became interested in the jazz works of George Shearing and Bill Evans. At college he gained steady work playing bossa nova in São Paulo.
In 1961, Fest graduated in piano from the University of Rio Grande do Sul. He also learned to play keyboards and saxophone. One year later, he started his musical career playing in bars, clubs and pubs. In 1963, he recorded his first LP, called Bossa nova, nova bossa. In this album, he counted with Humberto Clayber (bass), Antonio Pinheiro (drums) and Hector Costita (saxophone and flute).
In the 1970s he traveled to the United States where he worked with Sérgio Mendes. His American debut album Jungle Cat was released in 1978. He was relatively obscure, but worked with noteworthy groups including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Fest was a semi-regular at Fandango’s on Siesta Key, near Sarasota, Florida.
Fest died of liver failure at the age of 63 in Tampa, Florida, not far from his home in Palm Harbor, where he had lived for 12 years.
- Matthew Shipp (1960)
He is an American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader. He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica.
Shipp was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began playing piano at six years old. His mother was a friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown. He was strongly attracted to jazz, but also played in rock groups while in high school.
Shipp attended the University of Delaware for one year, then the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Joe Maneri. He has cited private lessons with Dennis Sandole (who also taught saxophonist John Coltrane) as being crucial to his development.
Shipp moved to New York in 1984, and has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer.
He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica.
Shipp was a long-time member of saxophonist David S. Ware‘s quartet.
In February 2011, Shipp released a double-disc album entitled Art of the Improviser.This release is “testament to Shipp’s achievements, yet it is also a continuation of the discovery in his developmental musical language.” The Chicago Tribune called the project “monumental” and “galvanic as ever.”
Shipp has been continuously improving his repertoire from touring the world, writing new compositions and, since 2011, has been collaborating with Barbara Januszkiewicz. Together they are exploring new territory through an avant-garde film called The Composer with Matthew Shipp / Barb Januszkiewicz.
On September 24, 2013 Thirsty Ear Records released a solo piano CD by Shipp called Piano Sutras.
- Michael Smith
Michael Joseph Smith is an American jazz and American classical composer and pianist born in Tiline,Kentucky. At the age of 6 years, he gave his first concert of original solo piano music in Nashville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Navy and gave lectures and performances in mid-western America while continuing his study of piano technique.
He has worked extensively in Europe and Asia and he resides in Sweden.
For the next ten years, he studied Electro-acoustic music and moved to Boston and New York – studying medicine and becoming involved with the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in New York.
During this period, he developed the philosophy and notation form of his original music later titled “Geomusic” and composed works with this method for various chamber groups, solo piano, and symphony orchestra.
He embarked on his first European concert tour in 1970, completed his first recordings in Italy and developed an interest in Jazz and Improvisation.
He moved to Paris in 1972 and completed concert tours and recordings in Western Europe and America. From 1975 to 1976 he recorded various albums in Europe and America and toured, mostly solo, to: Italy, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Western Europe, South America and Scandinavia.
He also completed his first recordings with computer and piano in conjunction with Swedish composers Tamas Ungvary and Sten Hanson. In 1977, he was admitted to the Swedish Composers Society and in 1979 he became a member of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
He returned to the United States in 1980 as a composer-in-residence in Georgia. There he completed three ballet projects with various contemporary dance ensembles which culminated in world premiers of the works in Atlanta at the Fox Theater, with the “Stars of American Dance“.
He has been awarded numerous cultural prizes and stipend’s in Europe and Scandinavia.
In 1986, Mr. Smith entered a research program with the IBM Corporation of Scandinavia and the Roland Synthesizer Corporation, to compose real-time with computer composition software. In five years, he created 600 new works scored for various ensembles.
In December 1988, he performed in Atlanta with prominent American artist Paul Chelko (abstract painting, ultra realism, portraiture, performance art, music, poetry) andbegan a second Artist-in-residency program in Atlanta that lasted until 1990.
During 1993, Maestro Smith lectured and performed at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Bowdoin College in Maine, The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and the Central Conservatories of Music in Beijing and Xian, China, as well as completed three tours to China.
Between 1995 and 2004 he was married to Chinese pop star Wei Wei. The couple had 3 children. Presently he is married to Loreta Greivyte and resides in Tyringe, Sweden. At present he is working with and a member of the board of WR Films in California. As a result, he resides part time in Hollywood.
- Michel Petrucciani (1962-1999)
Michel Petrucciani was born in Orange, Vaucluse, France
Michel was born with osteogenesis imperfect!!!!!!, also known as “glass bones,” a disease that stunted his growth (he was only three feet tall and weighed barely 50 pounds) and weakened his bones. From the beginning, Petrucciani had always been musical, reportedly humming Wes Montgomery solos by the time he learned to speak.
Petrucciani trained in classical piano starting at the age of four, and was making music with his family by the age of nine. His family was musical, and as a child he played the drums/piano in a band with his father, Tony, a guitarist, and his brother Louis, a bassist.
The musician that would prove most influential to Petrucciani was Bill Evans, who hebegan listening to at around the age of ten. Unlike Bill Evans he used a special attachment to work the sustaining pedal of the piano.
When Michel was thirteen, he gave his first concert as a professional at the Cliousclat Festival. Also performing at the festival was the American trumpeter Clark Terry, who needed a pianist that day. When Michel offered him his services, Clark thought it was a joke. “‘Let’s play the Blues,’ he said. The minute Michel played, Clark embraced him, and that was where it all started.
Petrucciani began recording with Owl Records and began a friendship with the recording company’s owner, Jean-Jacques Pussai. Pussai recalls that Petrucciani always seemed to be in a hurry to record, saying, “I don’t want to lose time.” But he needed to escape. He needed to go very far, as far as he could go, and that was California.”
Michel ended up in California in 1982, where he visited the retired saxophonist Charles Lloyd. After hearing Petrucciani play, the saxophonist was so inspired that he agreed to tour with Michel. Lloyd said to Michel, “I was here not planning to play again. You triggered me. I heard this beauty in you and I said, ‘well I have to take you ’round the world cause there’s something so beautiful, it was like providence calling.” Petrucciani and Lloyd’s tour of the West Coast was a huge success, and they continued their internationally.
Petrucciani and Lloyd’s performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival was made into an album, and in 1982 they won the 1982 Prix d’Excellence.
Petrucciani moved to New York City 1984 and spent the rest of his life there. This was one of the most wildly productive periods of his career. He recorded with Wayne Shorter and Jim Hall, producing the trio album Power of Three. In 1986 Petrucciani recorded a live album with Wayne Shorter and Jim Hall. He also played with diverse figures in the US jazz scene including Dizzy Gillespie.
But he also made a priority of recording solo piano. Michel said: “I really believe a pianist is not complete until he’s capable of playing by himself.
In the late 1990s, Petrucciani’s lifestyle became increasingly taxing. Musically, he was moving at a frenetic pace. He was performing over one hundred times per year, and in 1998, the year before he died, he performed one hundred and forty times. His social life was also becoming more costly—he began to drink more heavily and experiment with cocaine. He became too weak to use crutches and had to resort to a wheelchair. Petrucciani’s final manager said, “He was working too much—not only recording and doing concerts, but he was always on television, and he was always doing interviews. He got himself overworked, and you could see it. He pushed too much.”
He passed away on January 6, 1999, in New York City. Michel Petrucciani died just after his 36th birthday from a pulmonary infection. He was interred in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
On February 12, 2009, the French music channel Mezzo broadcast a special event paying homage to Petrucciani and the ten year anniversary of his death.
Wayne Shorter summed up Michel Petrucciani’s essential character and style in this quote:“There’s a lot of people walking around, full-grown and so-called normal—they have everything that they were born with at the right leg length, arm length, and stuff like that. They’re symmetrical in every way, but they live their lives like they are armless, legless, brainless, and they live their life with blame. I never heard Michel complain about anything. Michel didn’t look in the mirror and complain about what he saw. Michel was a great musician—a great musician—and great, ultimately, because he was a great human being because he had the ability to feel and give to others of that feeling, and he gave to others through his music.”
In 1994, he was granted a Légion d’honneur in Paris.
· Michele Rosewoman (1983)
Michele Rosewoman is an American jazz pianist living in New York, NY. She is most notable for her work and recordings with her Quintessence ensemble, as well as herNew Yor-Uba ensemble.
Rosewoman has released nine albums, including five with Quintessence and several trio and quartet recordings. Her New Yor-Uba ensemble, featured Orlando “Puntilla” Rios until his death in 2008, is an Afro-Cuban jazz big band that Rosewoman founded in 1983. It finally released its first album in 2013, in celebration of its 30th anniversary.
Rosewoman is also known for her work as a sidewoman on recordings by such artists as Greg Osby, Billy Bang and Ralph Peterson. Before moving to New York from California in 1978, Rosewoman, who was deeply influenced by Oakland-basedpianist/organist Ed Kelly, led several jazz groups in the Oakland area and also performed with Baikida Carroll, Julius Hemphill and Julian Priester. In New York she would play with post-avant-garde musicians Oliver Lake and Billy Bang, as well as with straight-ahead jazz masters Freddie Waits,Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, Reggie Workman and Latin music greats such as Celia Cruz, Chocolate Armenteros, Nicky Marrero, Paquito D’Rivera, Daniel Ponce and others.
- Milt Buckner (1915 –1977)
Milton Brent “Milt” Buckner was an American jazz pianist and organist, who in the early 1950s popularized the Hammond organ. He pioneered the parallel chordsstyle that influenced Red Garland, George Shearing, Bill Evans, and Oscar Peterson.
Buckner’s brother, Ted Buckner, was a jazz saxophonist.
Milton Brent Buckner was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents encouraged him to learn to play piano, but they both died when he was nine years old.
Milt and his younger brother were sent to Detroit where they were adopted by members of the Earl Walton band: trombonist John Tobias, drummer George Robinson (Milt) and reedplayer Fred Kewley (Ted).
Buckner studied piano for three years from the age 10, then at 15 began writing arrangements for the band, he and his brother going on to become active in the Detroit jazz world in the 1930s.
Buckner first played in Detroit with the McKinney Cotton Pickers and then with Cab Calloway.
In 1941 he joined Lionel Hampton‘s big band, and for the next seven years served as its pianist and staff arranger.
He led a short-lived big band of his own for two years, but then returned to Hampton’s in 1950.
In 1952 he formed his own trio, pioneered the use of the electric Hammond organ.
He often played in Europe in the late 1960s. His last studio session took place in Paris on 4 July 1977. This same year Buckner died in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 62.
- Monty Alexander (1944)
Montgomery Bernard Alexander, Monty Alexander, born in Kingston, Jamaica, isa jazz pianist, who also plays the melodica (pianica, blow-organ or key-flute). His playing has a strong Caribbean influence and swinging feeling, but he has also been influenced by Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, and Ahmad Jamal.
Alexander discovered the piano when he was four years old, took classical music lessons at the age of six and became interested in jazz piano at the age of 14, and began playing in clubs, and on recording sessions by Clue J & His Blues Blasters, deputising for Aubrey Adams, whom he describes as his hero, when he was unable to play. Two years later, he directed a dance orchestra (Monty and the Cyclones) and played in the local clubs.Performances at the Carib Theater in Jamaica by Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole left a strong impression on the young pianist.
Alexander and his family moved to Miami, Florida, in 1961 and he went to New York in 1962 and started to play at Jilly Rizzo‘s jazz club Jilly’s. In addition to performing withFrank Sinatra there, he also met and became friends with bassist Ray Brown and vibist Milt Jackson.
In California, in 1964, Alexander recorded his first album, Alexander the Great, for Pacific Jazz at the age of 20.
Alexander recorded with Milt Jackson in 1969, with Ernest Ranglin in 1974 and in Europe the same year with Ed Thigpen.
He toured regularly in Europe and recorded there, mostly with his classic trio for MPS Records.
He also toured around 1976 with the steelpan player Othello Molineaux.
Alexander has also played with several singers such as Ernestine Anderson, Mary Stallings and other important leaders (Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Jimmy Griffin and Frank Morgan). In his successive trios, he has played frequently with musicians associated with Oscar Peterson: Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Mads Vinding, Ed Thigpen and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.
In the mid-1970s he formed a group consisting of John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, creating a stir on the jazz-scene in Europe. Their most famous collaboration (and arguably Alexander’s finest album) is Montreux Alexander, recorded during the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1976.
He formed a reggae band in the 1990s, featuring all Jamaican musicians, and he has released several reggae albums, including Yard Movement (1996), Stir It Up (1999, a collection of Bob Marley songs), Monty Meets Sly & Robbie (2000), and Goin’ Yard (2001). He collaborated again with Ranglin in 2004 on the album Rocksteady.
Alexander married the American jazz guitarist Emily Remler in 1981, the marriage ending in divorce in 1985.
- Neville Dickie (1937)
Neville Dickie (born in Durham, England) is an English boogie-woogie and stride piano player.
He has performed all over Europe and North America.
After serving in the RAF, Dickie left Durham and moved to London, where he began playing piano for small wages in various pubs. He has played on hundreds of BBC Radio broadcasts.
Dickie has produced scores of records and can be heard on hundreds of jazz recordings, as well as several recordings with the French pianist, Louis Mazetier.
Dickie had a Top 40 UK hit single in 1969 with “Robin’s Return” on the Major Minor Records label (MM 644). It reached number 33 on the UK Singles Chart.
His album Back to Boogie (1975) has sold over 100,000 copies.
Dickie formed a band called the Rhythmakers in 1985 and continues to perform with that group and with his trio. He appears regularly at festivals in the United States.
- Noro Morales
Specialist in Jazz Latín & Mambo
Noro Morales was born in Puerto Rico in 1911 and came to New York in 1935, where he played briefly with the bands of Alberto Socarras and Augusto Coen before establishing the Brothers Morales (Noro-Humberto-Esy) orchestra in 1939.
The 1942 Decca 78 “Serenata R¡tmica” gave Morales instant recognition.
During the decade of the ’40s, Morales and Machito’s band was the most popular in NYC.
- Oliver Jones (1934)
Oliver Theophilus Jones, Oliver Jones, was born in Little Burgundy, Montreal, Quebec. He is a Canadian jazz pianist, organist, composer and arranger
He began his career as a pianist at the age of five, studying with Mme Bonner in Little Burgundy’s Union United Church, made famous by Trevor W. Payne‘s Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir.
He developed his talent through his studies with Oscar Peterson‘s sister Daisy Peterson Sweeney.
He toured with a band called the Bandwagon while touring in the United States.
In 1980 he teamed up with Montreal’s Charlie Biddle (double bassist), working in and around local clubs and hotel lounges in Montreal and 1981-1986 he was resident pianist at Charlie Biddle’s Jazz club, appropriately called Biddle’s from 1981 to 1986.
He was travelling throughout Canada by the mid-1980s, appearing at festivals, concerts and clubs, either as a solo artist or with a trio: Skip Bey, Bernard Primeau, and Archie Alleyne. His travels also took him to Europe during this period.
Awards: In 1986 he won a Juno Award for his album titled Lights of Burgundy and in 1989 he won the Félix Award for his album Just Friends.
He taught music at Laurentian University in 1987, and in 1988 he taught music at McGill University in Montreal .
In 2011 he was one of the big names on the line up of the P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival at Charlottetown. Jones was headliner for the Jazz Sudbury Festival 2013, held from Sept. 6-8, 2013
- Pat Flowers (1917-2000)
Ivelee Patrick “Pat” Flowers (October 16, 1917, Detroit) was an American jazz pianistand singer.
Flowers started his professional career as the pianist during intermissions at Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Detroit when he was 18 years old. He moved to New York City in 1939,where he played private engagements and hotel lobbies.
He worked in Philadelphia and then New York again, and recorded for the first time in 1941. Then returned to Detroit for two years. From 1943 to 1948 Flowers was based in New York again, where he initially collaborated frequently with Fats Waller at the Greenwich Village Inn. After Waller’s death, Waller’s manager Ed Kirkeby drafted Flowers as a possible successor for Waller, booking him for extended residencies at the Ruban Bleu and Cafe Society as well as radio appearances and recordings. In 1945 he made three films, Scotch Boogie, Dixie Rhythm, andCoalmine Boogie.
After returning to Detroit, Flowers took up a residency at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, where he played intermittently into the middle of the 1950s.
In 1960 he got back to NY another time.
Afther more a decade in NY and following his return to Detroit, Flowers became a mainstay of the local jazz scene. He had a residency at Farmington, Michigan‘s Danish Inn from 1974 to 1983.
He toured Europe with a Fats Waller tribute show in 1975. At the end of his life he worked at the Grosse Pointe Country Club in Detroit.
Flowers’s early recordings were collected as I Ain’t Got Nobody, released on Black & Blue Records in 1972.
- Paul Bley (1932)
Paul Bley, is a pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing. Bley has been a long-time resident of the United States. His music characteristically features strong senses both of melodic voicing and space.
Paul Bley was born in Montreal, Canada; his adoptive parents were Betty Marcovitch, an immigrant from Romania, and Joe Bley, owner of an embroidery factory.
In the 1950s he founded the Jazz Workshop in Montreal, performing on piano and recording with Be-Bop alto saxophone genius and composer Charlie Parker. He also performed with tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Ben Webster at that time.
In 1953 he conducted for bassist Charles Mingus on the Charles Mingus and His Orchestra album. That same year Mingus produced the Introducing Paul Bley album with Mingus and drummer Art Blakey. In 1960 Bley recorded on piano with the Charles Mingus Group.
In 1958, he hired young avant garde musicians: trumpeter Don Cherry, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, the bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins to play at the Hillcrest Club in California.
In the early 1960s he was part of the Jimmy Giuffre 3, with Giuffre on clarinet, and bassist Steve Swallow. The quiet understatement of this music made it possible to overlook its degree of innovation, as well as its repertoire introducing compositions by his ex-wife, pianist and organist Carla Bley. The group’s music moved towards free improvisation based on close empathy.
During the same period Bley was touring and recording with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, which culminated with the RCA Victor album Sonny Meets Hawk! with tenor saxophonistColeman Hawkins.
In 1964 Bley was instrumental in the formation of the Jazz Composers Guild, a co-operative organization which brought together many free jazz musicians in New York: Roswell Rudd,Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, Sun Ra, and others. The guild organized weekly concerts and created a forum for the “jazz revolution” of 1964.
Bley had long been interested in expanding the palette of his music using unconventional sounds (such as playing directly on the piano-strings). It was therefore consistent that he took an interest in new electronic possibilities appearing in the late 1960s. He pioneered the use of Moog synthesizers, performing with them before a live audience for the first time atPhilharmonic Hall in New York City on December 26, 1969.This “Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show” performance, a group with Annette Peacock, who had written much of Bley’s personal repertoire since 1964, was followed by her playing on the recordings Dual Unity (released under the name “Annette & Paul Bley”) and Improvisie, a French release of two extended improvisiational tracks with the trio of Paul on melodic electric piano and modulated synthesizer supporting Annette Peacock’s remarkable tonal experiments singing through what sounds to be a Maestro (Tom Oberheim designed) Ring Modulator, and percussion by Dutch free jazz drummer Han Bennink, who had also appeared on part of Dual Unity.
Subsequently Bley returned to a predominant focus on the piano itself.
During the 1970s, Bley, in partnership with videographer Carol Goss, was responsible for an important multi-media initiative, Improvising Artists, which issued LPs and videos documenting the solo piano recordings by Sun Ra and other works of free jazz with Jimmy Giuffre, Lee Konitz, Gary Peacock, Lester Bowie, John Gilmore, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Steve Lacy and others. Bley and Goss are credited in a Billboard Magazine cover story with the first “music video” as a result of the recorded and live performance collaborations they produced with jazz musicians and video artists.
Bley was featured in the 1981 documentary film Imagine the Sound, in which he performs and discusses the history of his music.
In the 1990s, Bley joined the faculty of the New England Music Conservatory, however he no longer teaches there. Musicians of note Satoko Fujii and Yitzhak Yedid have studied with Bley at NEC.
Bley has continued to tour internationally and record prodigiously, with well over a hundred CDs released. In 1999 his autobiography, Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz, was published. In 2003 Time Will Tell: Conversations with Paul Bley was published. In 2004 Paul Bley: la logica del caso (Paul Bley: The Logic of Chance) was published in Italian. In 2008, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
· Paul Gayten (1920-1991)
Paul Gayten was an American bandleader, pianist of jazz, blues, R&B and Rock´n roll, songwriter, producer and record company executive.
Gayten was born in Kentwood, Louisiana, the nephew of blues & booie-woogie pianist Little Brother Montgomery.
In his teens he played piano in local bands while also setting up his own group, Paul Gayten’s Sizzling Six, which featured future bebop saxophonist Teddy Edwards.
During the war, he led a band at the Army base in Biloxi, Mississippi.
He then moved to New Orleans and, with a new trio, established a residency at the Club Robin Hood. In 1947 the trio recorded two of the first New Orleans hits of the R&B era, “True (You Don’t Love Me)”, and “Since I Fell for You“, the latter featuring singer Annie Laurie. Both made the top ten in the US Billboard R&B chart. Gayten also backed singer Chubby Newsom on her hit single “Hip Shakin’ Mama”.
In 1949, Gayten expanded his combo into a nine-piece orchestra and moved to Regal Records. There, Gayten wrote the number 1 R&B hit “For You My Love“ for Larry Darnell, and recorded “I’ll Never Be Free” again with Annie Laurie.
His orchestra toured widely, for a period adding saxophonist Hank Mobley and singer Little Jimmy Scott, and appearing on double bills with both Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. In 1952 he moved to Okeh Records.
In 1956 he decided to quit as a touring bandleader and joined Chess Records as a talent scout, producer, promotion man, songwriter and part-time musician and recording artist. He discovered Clarence “Frogman” Henry and produced his first hit, “Ain’t Got No Home”, in 1956, later going on to co-write and produce his biggest hit, “But I Do“, in 1961. At Chess, Gayten produced Bobby Charles‘ “Later Alligator” and played piano on Chuck Berry’s “Carol”!!!!!!!!!!!!!. In 1956 he also had one of the biggest hits of his own career with “The Music Goes Round And Round”, followed up by “Nervous Boogie”.
In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles. In 1968 he set up his own label, Pzazz, which recorded Louis Jordan, among others.
He continued to live in Los Angeles after retiring in the 1970s, and died there aged 71 in March 1991.
- Ray Bryant (1931-2011)
Raphael Homer “Ray” Bryant was an American jazz pianist and composer.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ray Bryant began playing the piano at the age of six, also performing on bass in junior high school. He turned professional before his age of majority.
In 1948-49 he toured with guitarist Tiny Grimes.
He was house pianist at the Blue Note club in Philadelphia for 3 years, from 1953 to 1956.
From the late 1950s, he led a trio, performing throughout the world, and also worked solo.
He toured Europe regularly after appearing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973.
In addition, he was a noted jazz composer.
The musicians Kevin Eubanks, Duane Eubanks, and Robin Eubanks are his nephews, whose mother is Bryant’s sister Vera Eubanks, a pianist and organist specializing in gospel music.
Both Tommy and Ray Bryant formed a trio with Oz Perkins.
Bryant died in 2011 at the age of 79 in Queens, New York, after a long illness.
· Renee Rosnes (1962)
Irene Louise Rosnes professionally known as Renee Rosnes is a Canadian pianist, composer and arranger in the hard bop and post-bop mediums.
Rosnes was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, where she attended Handsworth Secondary School.
She was three when she began taking classical piano lessons. She became interested in jazz music in highschool, introduced to it through her band director Bob Rebagliati.
She then attended the University of Toronto, where she pursued classical performance with pianist William Aide.
In 1985, Rosnes was awarded a Canada Council of the Arts grant, and moved to New York City to further her studies.
After saxophonist Joe Henderson hired her to play with his quartet in 1986, she began an international career.
In 1988, she was a member of the Wayne Shorter Band and in 1989, she joinedtrombonist JJ Johnson‘s Quintet and remained his pianist of choice until he retired in 1997.
In 1989, she also began working with tenor master James Moody and was the pianist in his quartet for the next 20 years.
Rosnes frequently performs with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, and recorded “For Sentimental Reasons” with his quartet in 2007.
Rosnes was a founding member of the SFJAZZ Collective. SFJAZZ Collective convenes in San Francisco each spring for a three-week residency. She played with this collective of all-star octet from 2004 through 2009.
As a leader, Rosnes has released twelve recordings, nine of which are on the Blue Note Records label.
She also made four Japanese trio recordings with The Drummonds, featuring herself,drummer and ex-husband Billy Drummond and the unrelated Ray Drummond on bass.
Rosnes married jazz pianist Bill Charlap in 2007, and the couple released a two-piano duet recording titled “Double Portrait”on Blue Note Records in 2010.
She was also the host of “Jazz Profiles”, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation one-hour radio show, in which Rosnes profiled famous names in Canadian jazz. Guests included pianists Paul Bley, Joe Sealy and Oliver Jones, bassists Don Thompson and Michel Donato, trumpeter Guido Basso and Kenny Wheeler, and drummer Terry Clarke.
- Rickie Monie (1952)
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana
Monie’s parents played piano in church
Teachers: Monie’s father began teaching him at the age of eight, and he eventually played piano and organ in church. “I wanted to go out and play football like the rest of the guys in the neighborhood,” says Monie. “But now that I’ve been all around the world, I’m glad my father chose my profession for me.”Later his teachers were the pianists: Edward Frank (later one of rock´n roll parents in piano), Roosevelt Sykes, and Sweet Emma Barrett. Other musicians also contributed in his training: Milton Batiste (trumpeter), Manny Sayles (banjo), Harold “Duke” Dejan (sax).
Influences: Rickie was inundated at an early age with the recordings of such great jazz and gospel pianists as Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and Teddy Wilson.
After majoring in woodwind instruments at Dillard University, Rickie turned back to the piano and picked up work in every style of music.
In 1982, Monie got his first call from Preservation Hall, to substitute for the legendary resident pianist Sweet Emma Barret after she suffered a stroke. To the delight of audiences around the world, he’s stayed onboard ever since.
Played with: Rickie has performed with Dave Bartholomew, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Dr. Michael White, Gregg Stafford, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Topsy Chapman
Before long, Rickie was performing as a clarinetist with Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band. In 1982 he began sitting in for the aging Barrett on piano. “The time I spent sitting next to Sweet Emma was like going back to school,” he remembers. “Words can’t always communicate a musical idea or concept. Sometimes, you just have to be there and experience it for yourself.”. When he’s not on tour, performs weekly at the Hall and regularly plays the organ in churches around New Orleans.
- Robin Holcomb
Robin Lynn Holcomb, Robin Holcomb, is an American singer, songwriter and pianist. Her musical style combines avant-garde jazz scenes, classical-themed compositions, andcountry or American folk.
The New York Times described her music as “a new American regionalism, spun from many threads — country rock, minimalism, Civil War songs, Baptist hymns, Appalachian folk tunes, even the polytonal music of Charles Ives. The music that results is as elegantly simple as a Shaker quilt, and no less beautiful.”
Despite her eclectic output, she has said that she doesn’t try to “genre mash” intentionally “…it just kind of comes up because it’s what’s in the air. I am drawn repeatedly to hymn-type harmonies. I was fascinated by Civil-War songs when I was a kid. I come back to those things.”
She also describes her style as “minimalism without being a minimalist...when I write poetry, I go for the fewest number of words that evoke a lot or let the readers connect the dots, or relate it to their own experience, and the same with music.”
Holcomb began playing professionally in New York, in an avant-garde scene that involved her future husband Wayne Horvitz as well as John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, and Eugene Chadbourne.
Her work during that period was recorded in the 1988 album, Larks, They Crazy. Her subsequent albums focus more on songwriting.
- Roland Hanna (1932-2002)
Roland Pembroke Hanna (born in Detroit, Michigan) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and teacher.
Hanna studied classical piano from the age of 11, but was strongly interested in jazz, having been introduced to it by his friend, pianist Tommy Flanagan. This interest increased after his time in military service, 1950–52.
He studied briefly at the Eastman School of Music in 1953 and then enrolled at the Juilliard School when he moved to New York two years later. He worked with several big names in the 1950s, including Benny Goodman and Charles Mingus, and graduated in 1960.
Between 1963 and 1966 Hanna led his own trio, then from 1966 to 1974 he was a regular member of the trumpeter Thad Jones/ drummer Mel Lewis Orchestra.
During the 1970s he was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet.
Roland Hanna was in semi-retirement for most of the 1980s, though he played piano and wrote the song “Seasons” for Sarah Vaughan’s 1982 album Crazy and Mixed Up, and returned to music later in the decade.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hanna was a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) . Around this time, he also began composing chamber and orchestral music; a ballet he wrote has also been performed
Hanna is often referred to as “Sir Roland Hanna” as he was given an honorary knighthood by President William Tubman of Liberia in 1970. Sir Roland Hanna was aprofessor of jazz at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY) in Flushing, New York, and taught at several other music schools.
He died of a viral infection of the heart on November 13, 2002.
- Roy Fisher (1930)
Roy Fisher (born 1930) is a British poet and jazz pianist.
Fisher was born in Handsworth, Birmingham and studied at the University of Birmingham. He retired in 1982, after which he worked as a freelance writer and as a musician
He was one of the first British writers to absorb the poetics of William Carlos Williams and the Black Mountain poets into the British poetic tradition.
Fisher finally began to gain recognition in Britain with the publication of Poems 1955-1980 (1981).
- Scott Hayden (1882 —1915)
A disciple of Scott Joplin
Scott Hayden was an African-American composer of ragtime music.
Born in Sedalia, Missouri.
Hayden is remembered today for the four rags he composed in collaboration with Scott Joplin, “Sunflower Slow Drag,” “Something Doing,” “Felicity Rag,” “Kismet Rag” and also for another composition he wrote himself, “Pear Blossoms“.
There was a family connection of sorts between the two men, since Joplin’s first wife, Belle Hayden, had been Scott Hayden’s sister-in-law. Hayden married Nora Wright andlived with the Joplins in St. Louis.
in 1901, after his wife Nora died giving birth to a daughter, Hayden moved to Chicago,got a job as an elevator operator in the Cook County Hospital, and married Jeanette Wilkins.
A slender, handsome man of delicate health, he died in Chicago of pulmonary tuberculosis, leaving his song “Pear Blossoms” unfinished.
- Sonny Bravo (1936)
born Elio Osacar, is an Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz pianist. He was once a very good baseball player with many prospects born in New York, New York, though due to an injury in 1956 he sought out a career in music. It was then he started performing with Many Campo, El Casino de Miami, José Fajardo and many others. He also recorded with Tito Puente and Bobby Paunetto.
- Sonny Clark (1931–1963)
Conrad Yeatis “Sonny” Clark was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom.
Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town southeast of Pittsburgh.
At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh. When visiting an aunt in California at age 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray.
Clark went to San Francisco with double bassist and cellist Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953.
Clark toured the U.S. and Europe with DeFranco until January 1956, when he joined The Lighthouse All-Stars, led by bassist Howard Rumsey.
Wishing to return to the east coast, Clark served as accompanist for singer Dinah Washington in February 1957 in order to relocate to New York City.
In New York, Clark was often requested as a sideman by many musicians, partly because of his rhythmic comping. He frequently recorded for Blue Note Records, playing as a sideman with many hard bop players, including the guitarists Kenny Burrell andGrant Green.
He also recorded sessions with Charles Mingus (double bassist), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Billie Holiday (Singer), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), and Lee Morgan(trumpeter).
As a band leader, Clark recorded five albums for Sonny.
Clark died of a heart attack in New York City, although commentators attribute the early death to Clark’s drug and alcohol abuse.
Close friend and fellow jazz pianist, Bill Evans dedicated the composition “NYC’s No Lark” (an anagram of “Sonny Clark”) to him after his death, included on Evans’ Conversations with Myself (1963).
John Zorn (sax), Wayne Horvitz (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), and Bobby Previte(drum) recorded an album of Clark’s compositions, Voodoo (1985), as The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Zorn also recorded several of Clark’s compositions with Bill Frisell and George Lewis on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu(1992).
- Sonny White (1917-1971)
Ellerton Oswald White, better known as Sonny White, was born in Panama City, Panama.
White took on the nickname Sonny while a member of Jesse Stone‘s band in the middle of the 1930s. Later in the decade he played with Willie Bryant, Sidney Bechet, Teddy Hill (whose band at the time also included Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Clarke), and Frankie Newton. White recorded several sessions with Billie Holiday, with whom he had a yearlong affair in 1939, and their engagement was announced in Melody Maker that May.
White was a member of different line-ups backing Holiday in New York between January 1939 and October 1940, including the classic recording of “Strange Fruit“; in her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday mistakenly credits White with having co-written the music, to a poem by Lewis Allan.
In the 1940s he spent time in the bands of Artie Shaw, Benny Carter, with whom he played both directly before and directly after military service during World War II, and in whose band he would again play with Dizzy Gillespie, Big Joe Turner, Lena Horne, Dexter Gordon (1944-46), and Hot Lips Page (1947).
In the 1950s White played with saxophonist Harvey Davis and then with trombone player Wilbur De Paris, remaining with the latter until 1964.
In the 1960s he freelanced with Eddie Barefield (1968), among others, and was working with Jonah Jones at the time of his death in 1971. New York City.
- Stanley Cowell (1941)
He was born in Toledo, Ohio
He is an American jazz pianist and co-founder of the Strata-East Records label.
He played with Roland Kirk while studying at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and later with Marion Brown, Max Roach, Bobby Hutcherson, Clifford Jordan, Harold Land, Sonny Rollins and Stan Getz.
Cowell played with trumpeter Charles Moore and others in the Detroit Artist’sWorkshop Jazz Ensemble in 1965-66.
During the late 1980s Cowell was part of a regular quartet led by trombonist J.J. Johnson.
Cowell teaches in the Music Department of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
- Tania Maria (1948)
She is a Brazilian artist, singer, composer, bandleader and piano player, singing mostly in Portuguese or English. Her Brazilian-style music is mostly vocal, sometimes pop, often jazzy, and includes samba, bossa, Afro-Latin, Pop and Jazz fusion.
Born in São Luís, Maranhão, northern Brazil, Tania Maria began playing the piano at the age of seven, became a leader at the age of 13, when her band of professional musicians, organized by her father, won first prize in a local music contest and went on to play for dances, in clubs and on the radio. Her father, a metal worker and a gifted guitarist and singer, had encouraged her to study piano so that she could play in his weekend jam sessions, where she first absorbed the rhythms and melodies of samba, jazz, pop music and Brazilian chorinho. Since then, she has never worked in anyone else’s group. She has a degree in law.
Maria’s first album, Apresentamos, was released in Brazil in 1969, followed by Olha Quem Chega in 1971, but it was a move to France in the late 1970s that exploded her onto the international scene. At a concert in Australia, her formidable musical precision and freewheeling spirit caught the attention of the late American guitarist, Charlie Byrd, who recommended her to the late Carl Jefferson, founder of Concord Records.
Maria has played virtually every important jazz festival in the world and has appeared on countless television and radio programmes. She has recorded more than 25 albums andin 1985 was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female“. She has performed at prestigious venues such as the Blue Note and famous festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival in ’81, ’83 and ’89, Saratoga Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Fest 1991, Montreux Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest 2001, Malta Jazz Festival 2003 at Maltese Islands, Novosadski Jazz Festival 2004, Belgium‘s Jazz Middelheim 2007, and she has played with such greats as Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Sammy Figueroa and Eddie Gómez.
- Victor Feldman (1934 –1987)
Victor Stanley Feldman was a British jazz musician, best known as a pianist and percussionist.
Feldman caused a sensation as a musical prodigy when he was “discovered”, aged seven. His family were all musical and his father founded the Feldman Swing Club in London in 1942 to showcase his talented sons.
Feldman’s first professional appearance was playing drums at No. 1 Rhythm Club as a member of the Feldman Trio with brothers Robert on clarinet and Monty on piano accordion.
In 1944 he was featured at a concert with Glenn Miller‘s AAAF band, as “Kid Krupa” (in reference to drummer Gene Krupa).
His drums teacher Carlo Krahmer encouraged Feldman to play the vibraphone which he did first in the Ralph Sharon Sextet and later in the Roy Fox band. He worked in India in 1952 and 1953 in a band led by pianist Eddie Carroll. His vibraphone and conga drum playing were notable, but it was as a pianist that he became best known.
Before leaving the U.K. in 1955 to work in the U.S., Feldman recorded with Ronnie Scott‘s orchestra and quintet from 1954 to 1955, which also featured other important British jazz musicians such as Phil Seamen and Hank Shaw.
It was Scott who recommended that Feldman emigrate to the U.S., which he did in 1957. Once there, his first steady work was with the Woody Herman Herd. From there he went on to join Buddy DeFranco.
He recorded with many different jazz artists, including Benny Goodman, George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, most notably on Davis’ 1963 album Seven Steps to Heaven, the title tune being his own composition.
In 1957 Feldman settled in Los Angeles permanently and then specialized in lucrative session work for the US film and recording industry.
He also branched out to work with a variety of musicians outside of jazz, working with artists such as Frank Zappa in 1967, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell in the 1970s and Tom Waits and Joe Walsh in the 1980s.
Feldman died at his home, aged 53, following a heart attack.
In 2009, Feldman was inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN.
- Vahagn Hayrapetyan (1968)
He was born in Yerevan Armenia.
The founder of Katuner, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, is one of the most famous and popular jazz musicians performing on today’s Armenian stage. For a long time, he has been delivering his brand of close harmony by performing in a swing and pop style and also by playing in a trio he created.
At the end of 2004, Vahagn suddenly changed his musical image and created a new band called “Katuner” (Cats). The original members of the band were Vahagn Hayrapetyan (keyboards), Tigran Suchyan (trumpet), David Nalchajyan (alto saxophone), Artyom Manukyan (bass, cello) and Tigran Sanoyan (drums). Later, Ashot Haroutiunyan (trombone) joined the band. Ashot’s presence added more power and harmony to the music. His trombone sounded like a human voice.
The next to join was Norayr Kartashyan, who performs on various folk wind and percussion instruments. With his arrival, the sound of the ensemble gained a folk spirit. Norayr is a storyteller and added the sound of nature to the music. Drummer Arman Jalalyan joined the band at the beginning of 2006 and brought with him a very creative touch.
Originally all members of the Armenian Navy Band (BBC World Music Audience Award Winners, 2006), Katuner proves to be a very powerful band, playing original compositions yet bringing with it an already recognizable and much loved sound.
- Yitzhak Yedid (1971)
He is an Israeli Australian composer of classical music and jazz pianist. Yedid’s music contains a mix of elements. He says: “I’m dealing with very classical things, also with jazz and folk things–but it’s not classical and it’s not jazz and it’s not folk
Yitzhak Yedid was born in Jerusalem, Israel. His family immigrated from Syria. Hestudied at the Rubin Academy of Music and the New England Conservatory in Bostonwith Ran Blake and Paul Bley in 1997 and 1998. Yedid lives in Australia.
In 1999 Yedid released his first CD, Compositions for Solo Piano, for the Musa label. This led to an invitation to perform in Scandinavia as the guest of the pianist Michael Smith, and to a joint recital in Sweden with the pianist Roland Pontinen (Swedish pianist of classical music).
Myth of the Cave was commissioned by German record label Between the Lines. It was released in 2002.
In 2003 Yedid composed Passions and Prayers – Sextet in homage to Jerusalem for Between the Lines.
In 2005, Yedid composed the Oud Bass Piano Trio, performed at the Sibiu, Festival in Romania, as well as in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. in May and September 2005.
In 2002, he joined Israeli jazz saxophonist Abatte Barihun to form the duo Ras Deshen. They recorded their maiden album on September 2002, which featured a blend of Ethiopian music and Free improvisation jazz.
Yedid says his music is influenced by Arabic music. “When I was a child I went to the Syrian synagogue, where you hear all the melodies in the Arabic scales. I’m using microtonals in my compositions, and also using the Hassidic and Orthodox Jewish scales. This is all with free jazz and classical music, in equal parts.”
Yedid’s music contains a mix of elements. He says: “I’m dealing with very classical things, also with jazz and folk things–but it’s not classical and it’s not jazz and it’s not folk. I’m using various techniques, like a painter who’s trying to use all the materials he knows about. I’m trying to bring all these different elements together. My music is like a story–it’s like a film or a play.”
- Zez Confrey (1895 – 1971)
Edward Elzear “Zez” Confrey was an American composer and performer of piano music. His most noted works were “Kitten on the Keys,” and “Dizzy Fingers.”
Confrey was born in Peru, Illinois, United States, the youngest child of Thomas and Margaret Confrey.
Wanting to be a concert performer, he attended Chicago Musical College and studied with private teachers. He later abandoned that idea for composing, encouraged by hisoldest brother, James J. Confrey (who was an organist).
By 1916 he was a staff pianist for Witmarks in Chicago.
After World War I he became a pianist and arranger for the QRS piano roll company. He also recorded for the AMPICO Company, which made piano rolls for their reproducing player piano mechanisms, which were installed in pianos such as the Mason & Hamlin, and Chickering to name a few.
His novelty piano composition “Kitten on the Keys” (inspired by a stay at his grandmother’s house during which he heard a cat walk on a piano released in 1921, became a hit, and he went on to compose many other pieces in the same genre. “Dizzy Fingers” (1923) was Confrey’s other ragtime biggest seller.
After the 1920s he turned more and more toward composing for jazz bands. He retired after World War II but continued to compose occasionally until 1959.
He died in Lakewood, New Jersey after suffering for many years from Parkinson’s disease.
He left behind more than a hundred piano works, miniature operas, and songs, plus numerous piano rolls, music publications, and recordings.
- Warren Bernhardt (1938)
Warren Bernhardt, born in Wausau, Wisconsin, is a noted pianist in jazz, pop (Simon & Garfunkel, Don McLean), rock (Steely Dan) and classical music.
His father was a pianist, leading him to have early childhood exposure to piano.
At five his parents moved to New York City where he began studying seriously under varied instructors.
After the death of his father in 1957 he quit music for a time to study chemistry and physics at the University of Chicago. In that city he would be exposed to the blues and jazz, which would influence the rest of his career.
From 1961 to 1964 he worked in alto and soprano saxophonist Paul Winter‘s sextet,which led to his return to New York.
Once in New York, he worked with George Benson, Gerry Mulligan and others. He also developed a close relationship with the legendary pianist Bill Evans, who served as a mentor to Bernhardt.
Bernhardt released several solo LPs in the 1970s, and eventually became a member of the jazz fusion group Steps Ahead while continuing to work on solo projects.
In 1971, he provided the piano accompaniment to Don McLean‘s vocals in American Pie‘s Crossroads !!!!!!!
The Warren Bernhardt Trio’s Trio ’83 CD (DMP CD-441) is believed to be the first fully digital jazz release when it appeared on Compact Disc and Digital Audio Tape (DAT) in 1983 from DMP Digital Music Products.
Bernhardt has gone on to release additional jazz and classical recordings over the past twenty years.
He is also featured in a series of highly regarded jazz piano teaching sessions in both audio and video formats from Homespun Tapes.
Bernhardt toured as the musical director with Steely Dan in the United States from 1993–1994, and can be heard on Steely Dan’s Alive in America CD. He has more recently performed with Simon and Garfunkel‘s Old Friends tour, on Art Garfunkel’s solo tours, and can be seen on the Art Garfunkel DVD and HDTV presentation Across America.
In 2009, Bernhardt reunited with his band from 1973, “L’Image”, featuring Mike Mainieri, David Spinozza, Tony Levin and Steve Gadd. The group performed at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, toured Japan, and released the album “L’Image 2.0”.
· Wild Bill Davis (1918 –1995)
Wild Bill Davis was the stage name of American jazz pianist, organist, and arranger William Strethen Davis.
Davis was born in Glasgow, Missouri. He is best known for his pioneering jazz electronic organ recordings and for his tenure with the Tympany Five, the backing group for Louis Jordan.
Prior to the emergence of Jimmy Smith in 1956, Davis (whom Smith had reportedly first seen playing organ in the 1930s) was the pacesetter among organists.
Davis originally played guitar !!!!!! and wrote arrangements for Milt Larkin‘s Texas-based big band during 1939–42, a band which included Arnett Cobb,Illinois Jacquet, and Tom Archia on horns.
After leaving the Larkin orchestra, Davis worked in Chicago as a pianist, recording with Buster Bennett in 1945.
Also he played a crucial role as the pianist-arranger in Jordan’s Tympany Five (1945–47) at the peak of their success.
After leaving Jordan, he returned to Chicago for a time, recording again with Buster Bennett and working with Claude McLin.
After switching from piano to organ, Davis moved to the East Coast. In 1950, he began leading an influential trio of organ, guitar, and drums, which recorded for OKeh.
Davis recorded “April in Paris” with Count Basie‘s Orchestra in 1955.
In addition to working with his own groups in the 1960s, Davis made several albums with his friend Johnny Hodges and toured during 1969–71 with Duke Ellington.
In the 1970s he recorded for the Black & Blue Records label with a variety of swing all-stars, and he also played with Lionel Hampton, appearing at festivals through the early 1990s.
Davis died in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1995.
- Willie Pickens (1931)
One of parents of piano-soul.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Growing up in the midwest, Willie Pickens earned a teacher’s certificate from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee and went on to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, in 1958, to receive his B.S. in Music Education, before beginning his remarkable career as a jazz pianist.
Over the years, his sterling academic credentials have enabled him to share his gifts with many young players, both as a performer and teacher.
Upon graduating from school, he moved to Chicago and began his career on a national hitrecord — Eddie Harris’ 1961 Exodus. After that big hit, Willie’s live appearances were almost all limited to the midwest for the next two decades, while his career as an educator flourished.
From 1966 to 1986, he appeared on recordings headlined by Bunky Green, E. Parker McDougal, Vernel Fournier.
He also performed with Sammy Davis Jr, Quincy Jones, and Roberta Flack.
In 1990, Willie was invited to join the mighty Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. His first appearance with this legendary band took place later that year at the Bottom Line in New York and also featured Wynton Marsalis. Willie’s commitment to the Jazz Machine over the next several years meant retirement from full-time teaching in the public schools, but enabled him to serve as a linchpin for the group, appearing in Japan, Europe, and Canada, as well as in many U.S. cities.
At 77, Willie continues to be one of Chicago’s most in-demand pianists for visiting artists.He has performed several times at the famed Chicago Jazz Festival.
He has also performed with fellow pianist Marian McPartland, both in concert and on her well-loved NPR show, Piano Jazz.
2001 saw the release of their album of duets Ain’t Misbehavin’ on the Concord label. His performance is straight-ahead, and utterly stable — with dense chords, percussive attack, and flying solos — echoing the artistry of McCoy Tyner. Lately, he’s matured as both a soloist and bandleader, letting the space between the notes speak. While he’s not as showy as many of the younger folks, he always puts on a great show.
- Original video clips library of over 300 Jazz/Bossa Standards arranged to be performed with just a simple guitar. Valid not only for guitar training but also to accompany any musical instrument.
- Colección única y original de vídeos con más de 300 Standards arreglados para guitarra. Válida no sólo para guitarristas sino también para el entrenamiento de cualquier otro instrumento musical.
Vea nuestros vídeos / See our video clips
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Click on “SELFIE VIDEOS”