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Donald James

cornetist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and college educator, was born Nathaniel Adderley in Tampa, Florida, the second of two sons of Julian Adderley Sr. and Jessie Adderley. Julian Sr. was an educator who played trumpet and cornet, thus becoming Nat's first music teacher. Jessie was also a teacher. Nat's only sibling, Julian Adderley Jr., nicknamed “Cannonball” because of his rotund build, was three years older than his brother. The Adderleys moved from Tampa to Tallahassee, Florida, when Nat was a toddler so that Julian Sr. and Jessie could take teaching jobs at Florida A&M College (FAMC), a historically black school. The college changed its name to Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1953.

Cannonball was the first of the two brothers to play trumpet He later became more interested in the alto saxophone leaving his trumpet to sit idle Nat showed no ...

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Philip Herbert

Nigeriancomposer, organist, and ethnomusicologist born in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria, in 1932. In his early education at King's College, Lagos, and as a chorister at Christchurch Cathedral, in that city, he was exposed to European classical music, Mendelssohn being his favourite composer. His musical outlook was eclectic, and he was involved in dance bands such as the Chocolate Dandies and the Akpabot Players (his own band), formed in 1949, as well as being organist at St Saviour's Anglican Church in Lagos.

Akpabot studied the trumpet and organ in London at the Royal College of Music in 1954, with teachers such as John Addison, Osborn Pisgow, and Herbert Howells. Study at the University of Chicago yielded a Master's degree in Musicology, and he also received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He was a broadcaster for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (1959 ...

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Ronald P. Dufour

composer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in alto saxophone and contrabass clarinet, was born in Chicago to Clarence Dunbar Braxton Sr., a railroad worker, and Julia Samuels Braxton. Braxton experienced a rich childhood centered in Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood. His parents and his stepfather, Lawrence Fouche, imbued Braxton and his siblings with values of tolerance and perseverance. Exposed to a wide range of popular media, Braxton developed an early interest in rock and roll, particularly Chuck Berry and Frankie Lymon, and he sang in his Baptist church's choir. He had begun to play clarinet at about the age of eleven, and in high school became interested in jazz and the alto sax. In 1959 he entered the Chicago Vocational High School, in part because of his interest in technology.

Through his teens Braxton studied both jazz and European classical music at the Chicago School of Music of Roosevelt University ...

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Eric Gardner

musician, educator, and activist, was born to free parents in Drummondtown, Accomack County, Virginia. His father died when Carter was about eight, and his mother, whose maiden name was probably Drummond, cared for Dennis. When one of his cousins, Henry Drummond, was bound out to an area slaveholder named Thomas R. Joynes because of his status as an orphan, Carter's mother began to fear that her son would also be enslaved should something happen to her. Determined that her son stay free, she moved with him to Philadelphia in about 1825. There Carter's musical talents flowered, in part under the tutelage of the famous black Philadelphia bandleader Francis Johnson.

Carter toured with Johnson's band sporadically during the 1830s, 1840s, and early 1850s, reportedly joining Johnson's 1837 trip to Great Britain and an 1851 trip to Sulphur Springs Virginia In addition to working as a musician Carter ...

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jazz bassist, was born in Ferndale, Michigan. He was one of seven siblings, all of whom studied music. Carter started playing cello in school when he was ten years old. While attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit, he switched to bass although he occasionally played cello through the years. He played his first musical jobs in 1955 and led his own groups while attending the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, from 1956 to 1959 (earning a degree in music).

Carter's first important association was in 1959 when he was a member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet. He earned a master of music from the Manhattan School of Music in 1961 but by then was already a busy jazz musician. From 1959 to 1963 Carter gained recognition for his recordings with Eric Dolphy (particularly Out There) and also worked with the altoist Cannonball Adderley ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz bassist, arranger, composer, and bandleader, was born in Venice, California. The oldest of seven children (including the altoist Jeff Clayton), he was introduced to music by his mother, who played the organ for their Baptist church in addition to conducting the choirs. John Clayton took piano lessons starting when he was eight years old, switching to bass when he was thirteen. As a teenager he performed at jam sessions and with pickup groups, sometimes playing electric bass with soul and rhythm and blues groups. He also worked with the pianist Eddie Mitchell.

Strongly inspired by the bassist Ray Brown with whom he took an extension course at the University of California at Los Angeles and private lessons Clayton gained some of his earliest musical jobs through Brown who sometimes sent him in as a substitute He worked with the trombonist Murray McEachern for six ...

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Norman Weinstein

alto saxophonist, band leader, and educator, was born on Chicago's South Side. While Coleman has chosen not to reveal many details about his childhood, he has underscored his father's love of jazz and his encouragement of his son's violin study in elementary school. At fourteen Coleman switched to the alto saxophone, but rejected his father's advice to explore Charlie Parker. Instead, Coleman adopted Maceo Parker, a saxophonist in James Brown's band, as his idol. He then organized a group of schoolmates in a funk band that emulated the Brown sound.

During his freshman year at Illinois Wesleyan University Coleman experienced a watershed moment The school s jazz band rejected his candidacy citing his lack of proficiency in improvisation This rejection moved Coleman to study Charlie Parker s recordings in the hopes of acquiring Parker s seemingly intuitive ability for spontaneous innovation He combined an immersion in Parker ...

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Charles Rosenberg

musician and inspirational band teacher, whose graduates included some of the top musicians in twentieth-century North America, was born in St. Joseph Missouri, the eldest child of Rev. William Walter S. Dyett, and Minerva Peck Dyett. His father was born in Montserrat in the British West Indies, and was brought to the United States as a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church by assignment of Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner in 1888. His mother was born in Alabama, marrying Rev. Dyett in 1899. One sister, Anne L. Dyett, was born in 1903.

Transferred often under the itinerant ministry tradition of the AME church, Rev. Dyett lived at various times on the British colony of Bermuda, Connecticut (where he was pastor of New Haven's Bethel AME Church in 1893 Pennsylvania Colorado Missouri and Nebraska When he was appointed pastor of First AME Church in ...

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Raoul F. Camus

(b Columbia, SC, June 21, 1914). American bandmaster, arranger and educator. He attended West Virginia State College (BMus 1948) and Marshall State University (MA 1954 After playing the trumpet in Air Force and dance bands he was appointed director of bands at Tennessee ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz drummer and bandleader, was born Foreststorn Hamilton in Los Angeles, California. Hamilton first played clarinet before switching to drums. While in high school, he was in a band that included such future notables as saxophonists Illinois Jacquet, Dexter Gordon, and Buddy Collette; trumpeter Ernie Royal; and bassist Charles Mingus.

A professional musician by the late 1930s, Hamilton picked up important experience playing with the Floyd Ray Big Band, Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam (the team of Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart, with whom he made his recording debut in 1941), and T-Bone Walker, and as a substitute with Duke Ellington in 1941. He served in the army during 1942–1946.

After his discharge he returned to Los Angeles, where he immediately became busy again, taking drum lessons from Jo Jones, playing and recording with Lester Young and ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz violinist, was born in Chicago, Illinois. The names and occupations of his parents are not recorded. Jenkins started playing violin when he was seven. He performed recitals at St. Luke Church, accompanied by pianist Ruth Jones, who would later change her name to Dinah Washington. Jenkins became a member of the orchestra and choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Jenkins attended DuSable High School, where he was one of many young musicians who were trained and inspired by the legendary teacher Walter Dyett. He went to Florida A&M University on a bassoon scholarship, also playing saxophone and clarinet in the concert band before turning his focus back to the violin. After graduating in 1961, he was a violin teacher in the schools of Mobile, Alabama, until 1965 when he moved back to Chicago continued teaching violin in schools and also began his life as a performer ...

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Leila Kamali

Nickname of Francis Johnson (1792–1844), African‐American bandleader, bugler, and composer. Johnson, a free Black from Philadelphia, first achieved local eminence as a fiddler while still in his youth. Around 1815 he was noted for introducing the keyed bugle to the United States. During the 1820s Johnson published compositions, and worked with Philadelphia militia units including the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry and the Washington Grays. In 1824 he received two major commissions, one to compose the music for the return to Philadelphia of the revolutionary hero the Marquis de Lafayette, and another to score the musical The Cataract of the Ganges.

Johnson and his band toured Britain from 1837 to 1838, with a repertoire ranging from Mozart and Rossini to American popular songs They are considered to be the first black American musicians to visit Europe and the first to play for Queen Victoria who ...

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Ronald P. Dufour

saxophonist, oboist, flutist, composer, and educator, was born William Evans in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of William Huddleston, a factory worker, and Eva Spicer, a registered nurse; his family moved to Detroit when he was five. He began to play alto saxophone at eighteen; he switched to tenor the following year and studied with Teddy Buckner until 1944. During his years in Detroit he established lifelong friendships with many of the young jazz musicians who lived in the city in those years, notably Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Lucky Thompson, and Thad Jones and his brothers Elvin and Hank.

In 1946 Lateef played with the Lucky Millinder orchestra, as well as with small groups led by the trumpeters Hot Lips Page and Roy Eldridge; from 1946 ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz alto-saxophonist and woodwind player, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Mitchell grew up in a musical family. He began playing saxophone and clarinet when he was twelve years old, studying clarinet at Englewood High School a few years later. While serving in the U.S. Army, he played in an army band in Heidelberg, Germany, that included the saxophonists Albert Ayler and Rubin Cooper, who was one of his informal teachers.

After his discharge in 1961 Mitchell played in Chicago with the saxophonists Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, and Joseph Jarman. The music they performed at that early stage was mostly hard bop. Mitchell studied with the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and worked in his Experimental Band, a significant but unfortunately unrecorded group. That experience helped lead to the formation of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965 and a new way of playing ...

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Kimberly L. Malinowski

musicologist and professor, was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, to William (Bud) Reese and Lenora Smallwood. Reece later changed the spelling of his last name for unknown reasons. During the winter months, while his mother was teaching and completing medical school, Reece lived with his grandparents. His mother later became a practicing physician. His grandfather was a Baptist minister, and Reece described his home as “very correct but not depressingly so.” He credited Guthrie as having an “excellent school system, an equally excellent public library, and a good cultural environment” and these resources helped prepare him for his studies (Bluefieldian, Nov. 1973, 7). In 1921 Reece was baptized and joined a local Baptist church, and in 1925 he graduated from high school.

Reece credited his decision to attend Fisk University to the inspirational Jubilee Singers and to his mother who attended both Fisk University and Meharry ...

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Elliott S. Hurwitt

music educator and performer, was born Cary Isabele Taliaferro in Abingdon, Virginia, the daughter of Granville L. Taliaferro and Josephine Outlaw Taliaferro. She was educated in Philadelphia public schools, graduating from Girls Commercial High School, then earned a teaching certificate from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston). Her early professional experience remains obscure. In 1912 she joined a famous vaudeville act, the Musical Spillers, eventually marrying its leader, William Newmeyer Spiller. The act was already a vaudeville favorite by this time, and soon she was touring with them throughout the Americas. Originally a trio, the act stabilized as a sextet, evenly divided between men and women, shortly before she joined.

Isabele Taliaferro Spiller remained with the Musical Spillers from 1912 to 1925 playing multiple instruments and acting as the primary teacher of new members of the band The Spillers were best known as a saxophone ...

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Jamane Yeager

was born Cary Isabele Taliaferro in Abingdon, Virginia. Isabele was the eldest of two daughters of Granville L. P. Taliaferro (1860–1916) and Josephine (Outlaw) Taliaferro (1865–1910. Both parents were college educated. A sister, Bessie, was born in 1889. Spiller received her public school education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Grant Elementary School (1899–1903) and the Girls Commercial High School. In 1901 she earned a music certificate in public school music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

In 1912 she joined the Musical Spillers, a black vaudeville group, and met and married the founder and director of the group, William Newmeyer Spiller. Her primary instrument was the tenor saxophone, but she also doubled on alto and baritone saxophone and occasionally trumpet. From 1912 to 1925 she toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America with the Musical Spillers. From 1926 ...

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Barry Kernfeld

jazz string bassist, bandleader, and educator, was born in Englewood, New Jersey. Nothing is known of his parents or his real name. He was raised as Leroy Elliott Stewart, but he said, without offering details, that a different name is on his birth certificate. His adoptive father was a caretaker and gardener. Stewart started on violin at age six or seven and switched to string bass while in high school in Englewood.

His father worked for Dwight Morrow, an affluent man whose daughter Anne married Charles Lindbergh. After Stewart graduated, Morrow helped send him to the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he studied string bass for one year while playing in local bands. At this time he began to imitate Ray Perry who hummed in unison with violin bowing Stewart s humming situated an octave above his bowed bass became his overused musical ...

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Barbara Bonous-Smit

progressive jazz and classical trumpet and flugelhorn player, composer, conductor, and teacher, was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of bandleader and saxophonist Archie Stone. His father conducted the Casino Theatre Orchestra in Toronto (1936–1960).

Stone began studies on the flugelhorn when he was twelve years old. Between 1950 and 1955, he studied the trumpet with Donald Reinhardt in Philadelphia. By age sixteen he studied with Benny Louis and performed in dance bands in Toronto. He also played jazz and classical works with Canadian Broadcasting Company orchestras. His composition studies were with the noted Canadian jazz arranger and composer Gordon Delamont (1955–1960) and the eminent Canadian atonal music composer John Weinzweig (1960–1962).

Stone received his B Mus from Metropolitan College in London Canada He felt at home not only performing and composing for jazz bands but also with ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz pianist, educator, and spokesman, was born in Greenville, North Carolina. His father, a choir director, sang and played piano and brass instruments. Taylor moved with his family to Washington, D.C., when he was five. While Taylor had brief stints on drums, guitar, and saxophone, he was most attracted to the piano. He had classical piano lessons with Henry Grant, who had given Duke Ellington lessons twenty years earlier. Taylor had his first musical job when he was thirteen. Decades later he recalled seeing Jelly Roll Morton perform in Washington, D.C., in 1938. Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in music from Virginia State College in 1942.

Moving to New York in 1944, Taylor played on 52nd Street with the tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. The same night he debuted with Webster, he met his mentor, Art Tatum He was a member of separate ...