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André Willis

Born Julian Edwin Adderley in Tampa, Florida, Adderley earned the nickname “Cannonball,” a corruption of “cannibal,” for his huge appetite. Adderley was introduced to music by his father, a cornetist, and was performing in bands by the time he was fourteen. He played in local bands as well as in the United States Army (he enlisted in 1950) and taught music before moving to New York to join his brother Nat in 1955. He immediately found success on the New York Jazz scene, joining the bands of bassist Oscar Pettiford.

The recordings Adderley made with Davis, which included John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly on piano, are some of the most celebrated of the 1950s. In 1959 Adderley and his brother Nat formed their own quintet and built on the influence of Davis and saxophonist Charlie Parker During ...

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Frank Tirro

Adderley, Cannonball (15 September 1928–08 August 1975), jazz saxophonist, was born Julian Edwin Adderley in Tampa, Florida, the son of Julian Carlyle Adderley, a high school guidance counselor and jazz cornet player, and Jessie Johnson, an elementary school teacher. The family moved to Tallahassee, where Adderley attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College High School from 1941 until 1944. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M in 1948, having studied reed and brass instruments with band director Leander Kirksey and forming, with Kirksey, a school jazz ensemble. He then worked as band director at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and jobbed with his own jazz group.

Adderley served in the army from 1950 until 1953 leading the 36th Army Dance Band to which his younger brother cornetist Nathaniel Nat Adderley was also assigned While stationed in Washington D C in 1952 Adderley continued ...

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Frank Tirro

jazz saxophonist, was born Julian Edwin Adderley in Tampa, Florida, the son of Julian Carlyle Adderley, a high school guidance counselor and jazz cornet player, and Jessie Johnson, an elementary school teacher. The family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where Adderley attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College High School from 1941 until 1944. He earned his bachelor's degree from Florida A&M in 1948, having studied reed and brass instruments with the band director Leander Kirksey and forming, with Kirksey, a school jazz ensemble. Adderley then worked as band director at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and jobbed with his own jazz group.

Adderley served in the army from 1950 until 1953, leading the Thirty-sixth Army Dance Band, to which his younger brother, the cornetist Nathaniel “Nat” Adderley, was also assigned. While stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1952 Adderley continued to play ...

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Jerry C. Waters

an interdisciplinary artist and musician, was born Terry Roger Adkins in Washington, D.C., the eldest of five children of Robert Hamilton Adkins, a teacher and a musician, and Doris Jackson Adkins, a homemaker and musician. Adkins was raised in Alexandria, Virginia.

The artistic and musical achievements of Terry Adkins are linked to his formative years. Born in the racially segregated South, he attended a predominantly black primary school in Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated in 1971 from Ascension Academy a mostly white Catholic high school Adkins s parents encouraged his artistic talents and academic pursuits because education was valued within the extended Adkins family His father Robert Hamilton Adkins was a chemistry and science teacher at Parker Gray High School a predominantly black school in Alexandria and performed within the community as an organist and vocalist Adkins s grandfather the Reverend Andrew Warren Adkins pastored Alfred Street Baptist ...

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Caryn E. Neumann

for the famed ska group, the Skatalites, was born in Havana, Cuba, to a Cuban father and Jamaican mother. His birthplace is sometimes given as Clarendon, Jamaica, where the family moved in 1933. When Jamaican authorities deported Alphonso’s father shortly thereafter, Alphonso remained on the island with his mother. He apparently spent some time at Stony Hill Industrial School, a reform institution for destitute youths. While at the Alpha Boys Catholic School in Kingston, Alphonso learned to play marching drums, then progressed to the trumpet. His mother bought him his first saxophone when he was fifteen.

After leaving school, Alphonso earned a living by playing his alto saxophone in hotels for tourists. Ranked as one of the nation’s best saxophonists by the early 1950s, he played with a number of prominent Jamaican jazz bands, including Redvert Cook’s Orchestra and Eric Dean’s Band. He made his first record in 1954 ...

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Barry Kernfeld

jazz tenor saxophonist, was born Eugene Ammons in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Albert Ammons, a boogie-woogie pianist; his mother's name is unknown. Like several other prominent jazzmen, Gene studied music at Du Sable High School under Captain Walter Dyett. Initially he idolized Lester Young's improvising and even imitated Young's manner of playing with head and horn at a grotesquely tilted angle. During his third year in high school Gene began playing locally with the trumpeter King Kolax's band. At the semester's end he embarked on a cross-country tour with Kolax that included performances at the Savoy Ballroom in New York.

In 1944 the singer Billy Eckstine formed a big band that included the tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and the alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. According to the group's pianist, John Malachi Rouse was so smitten by Parker s playing that he was unable to concentrate ...

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Emily Callaci

Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a pioneer of the musical genre of Afrobeat and a choreographer of spectacular and irreverent acts of political protest. Growing up in the context of late colonial and postcolonial Nigeria, he saw a world in which many African people struggled to get by, while imperial nations, foreign corporations, and postcolonial political regimes grew wealthier and more powerful at their expense. In the politically and economically turbulent context of postcolonial urban Africa, Fela advocated the idea of African authenticity as a guiding principle of creative expression and political activism.

Fela was born in 1938 in Abeokuta, Nigeria, as Fela Ransome Kuti. His father was a minister, and his mother was a prominent feminist and anticolonial activist. In 1958, Fela’s parents sent him to London for medical training, but he instead registered at the Trinity School of Music. In 1961 he started his first jazz band ...

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David E. Spies

composer and musician, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Edward Ayler, a semiprofessional violinist and tenor saxophonist, and Myrtle Hunter. Albert and his brother Donald, who later became a professional jazz trumpet player, received musical training early in life from their father. In second grade Albert performed alto saxophone recitals in school. He performed duets with his father (who also played alto saxophone) in church. Together they listened to a great deal of swing and bebop music, both on recordings and at jazz concerts.

From age ten to age eighteen Ayler attended Cleveland's Academy of Music, taking jazz lessons from Benny Miller Throughout his mid teenage years Ayler performed in young jazz and rhythm and blues bands He also was a captain of his high school golf team at the time Cleveland s golf courses were largely segregated While in high school Ayler spent ...

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Jack Sohmer

Bailey, Buster (19 July 1902–12 April 1967), jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, was born William C. Bailey in Memphis, Tennessee. Nothing is known of his parents. He attended the Clay Street School in Memphis, where he began studying clarinet at age thirteen. In 1917 he turned professional after joining the touring band of famed blues composer W. C. Handy, and it was during a trip to New Orleans with Handy that he first heard authentic jazz. In early 1919 he left Handy to move to Chicago, where he studied with Franz Schoepp, first clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony, and worked in Erskine Tate’s Vendome Theatre Orchestra and doubled in Freddie Keppard’s small jazz band at the Lorraine Gardens. In late 1923 or early 1924 Bailey replaced Johnny Dodds in King Oliver s Creole Jazz Band for an extensive tour that concluded with its return to the ...

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Jack Sohmer

jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, was born William C. Bailey in Memphis, Tennessee. Nothing is known of his parents. He attended the Clay Street School in Memphis, where he began studying clarinet at age thirteen. In 1917 he turned professional after joining the touring band of the famed blues composer W. C. Handy, and it was during a trip to New Orleans with Handy that he first heard authentic jazz. In early 1919 he left Handy to move to Chicago, where he studied with Franz Schoepp, first clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony, and worked in Erskine Tate's Vendome Theatre Orchestra and doubled in Freddie Keppards's small jazz band at the Lorraine Gardens. In late 1923 or early 1924 Bailey replaced Johnny Dodds in King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band for an extensive tour that concluded with its return to the Lincoln Gardens in June 1924. In August ...

Article

was born in Trinidad in the West Indies on 7 February 1914. His father’s work in the oil industry resulted in the family moving to Maracaibo, Venezuela, when he was quite young. It was while he was in Venezuela that Barriteau first heard the clarinet and expressed a desire to play music. After his father’s death, Barriteau returned to Trinidad before his tenth birthday and was sent to an orphanage when he was 12.

At the home, Barriteau first began seriously playing music. He originally performed on the tenor horn with the Belmont Orphanage Band, also learning the E-flat clarinet. During 1933–1936 he turned professional working with the Trinidad Constabulary Band where he switched to the more conventional B flat clarinet and the alto sax Barriteau gained local acclaim performing with the popular police band in particular for his clarinet playing He also worked during the same period ...

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James Lincoln Collier

(b New Orleans, May 14, 1897; d Paris, May 14, 1959). American jazz soprano saxophonist and clarinettist. He took up the clarinet as a young boy and studied sporadically with the older clarinettists Lorenzo Tio jr, Big Eye Nelson and George Baquet, but was principally self-taught. By about 1910 he was working with some of the incipient black jazz bands in New Orleans, but around 1916 he left the city to wander (a habit which stayed with him into middle age), playing in touring shows and carnivals throughout the South and Midwest. He arrived in Chicago in 1917 and played with bands led by the New Orleans pioneers Freddie Keppard, King Oliver and Lawrence Duhé.

In 1919 Bechet was discovered by Will Marion Cook who was about to take his large concert band the Southern Syncopated Orchestra to Europe The orchestra played mainly ...

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Jack Sohmer

Bechet, Sidney (14 May 1897–14 May 1959), jazz soprano saxophonist and clarinetist, was born Sidney Joseph Bechet in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Omar (or Omer) Bechet, a shoemaker and amateur flutist, and Josephine Michel. An incorrigible truant, after age eight he stopped attending school and started teaching himself clarinet. What basic education he later received came from private tutoring by a cousin. He received some clarinet training from George Baquet, “Big Eye” Louis Nelson, and Lorenzo Tio, Jr. Born with perfect pitch and an infallible musical memory, Bechet could duplicate anything he heard, and, as a result, he never learned to read music. He started playing professionally almost immediately, and his first jobs were with his brother Leonard’s Silver Bells Band and the Young Olympians, a group he formed with Buddy Petit around 1909. In 1911 (or 1913) he started playing with Bunk Johnson ...

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Salim Washington

clarinetist, soprano saxophonist, and composer, was born Sidney Joseph Bechet, the youngest of five sons and two daughters (three other children died in infancy) born to Omar Bechet, a shoemaker, and Josephine Michel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bechet was raised as a middle-class Creole at the time when state law reclassified Creoles of color as Negro. The adoption of the black codes and de jure segregation had profound repercussions for the first generations of ragtime and jazz musicians in the Crescent City. Although Sidney spoke French in his childhood household and his grandfather, Jean Becher, was free and had owned property since 1817, Sidney Bechet identified himself as African American.

The Bechet family was decidedly musical Sidney s father played the flute and trumpet for relaxation and Sidney s brothers all played music as a hobby and developed skills in various trades for their ...

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James Sellman

Although well known to Jazz listeners and critics, Sidney Bechet has never enjoyed the reputation of his only peer, cornet and trumpet player Louis Armstrong. Yet in recent years Bechet has gained greater recognition, at least from jazz scholars and critics. For example, Barry Singer, in a 1997New York Times article, described him as an “intrepid musical pioneer who was not merely Louis Armstrong's contemporary but in every way his creative equal.”

In many respects, the two men shared much: They were near contemporaries, born and raised in New Orleans and both were virtuosos on their chosen instruments Both were known above all as improvisers as soloists rather than bandleaders composers or arrangers Various factors help account for Armstrong s greater renown His clarion like trumpet moved even nonmusicians while Bechet s facility on woodwinds was less visceral in effect Armstrong found his greatest popularity as ...

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Ronald P. Dufour

tenor saxophonist, was born Leon Brown Berry in Wheeling, West Virginia. His parents' names and occupations are unknown. He played alto saxophone in high school and at West Virginia State College, which he attended for three years.

In 1929Sammy Stewart hired Berry to play tenor in his Chicago band. In 1930 Berry moved to New York City and worked in several groups, including bands led by Benny Carter, Charlie Johnson, Spike Hughes, and Teddy Hill. An early highlight was a May 1933 recording for Hughes that included Coleman Hawkins, with the two tenor giants striving to surpass each other in tunes like “Fanfare.” Berry recorded with a variety of groups during the second half of the 1930s, including those led by Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Red Allen, Hot Lips Page, and Wingy Manone His superb work with various ...

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Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, Leon “Chu” Berry was taught piano as a child by his family, and he learned alto saxophone in high school. After three years at West Virginia State College, Berry left in 1929, when he was hired by Edwards' Collegians in West Virginia. He later worked with Sammy Stewart's orchestra in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1930 Berry moved to New York with the Stewart orchestra. He made his first recordings with the orchestra of Benny Carter in 1932, and he played on the Spike Hughes 1933 recordings. Other significant connections that year include working with Charlie Johnson and playing on the final recording session of Jazz singer Bessie Smith. Performing with Teddy Hill's orchestra from 1933 to 1935, Berry met Roy Eldridge, who became his close friend. Hired by Cab Calloway in 1937 Berry appeared as featured soloist ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz baritone saxophonist, was born in Brooklyn, Illinois. His father, Hamiet Bluiett Sr., worked in the steel mills and for the U.S. Postal Service, while his mother, Deborah Bluiett, was a housewife. Hamiet studied music as a child with his aunt Mattie Chambers (a choir director) and with the bandleader George Hudson from 1948 to 1955. He started out playing music on the piano and trumpet before switching to clarinet when he was nine years old. Hamiet had his first musical engagement playing clarinet at dances. While attending Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (1957–1960), he started playing the flute at age eighteen but settled permanently on the baritone sax when he was twenty. Seeing Harry Carney play at a Duke Ellington concert made a strong impression on him Bluiett always named Carney as his favorite baritonist In his later years Bluiett also played bass ...

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Bruce Barnhart

composer, alto saxophonist, bandleader, and teacher, was born Arthur Murray Blythe in Los Angeles, California, the second of three surviving sons of Charles Blythe, an auto mechanic, and Nancy Blythe, a homemaker and part-time seamstress. Some sources, including his obituary, give a birth date of 5 July 1940. His parents divorced, and when he was four years old he moved with his mother to San Diego. Blythe's first musical inspiration was the rhythm and blues music he heard on local jukeboxes. His mother's passion for the music of Johnny Hodges, Earl Bostic, and Tab Smith led her to purchase an alto saxophone for Blythe despite his desire to play trombone Upon receiving his first saxophone at the age of nine Blythe began to play in school bands and at the age of thirteen he was performing in a local blues band Blythe s early experience ...

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Barry Kernfeld

alto saxophonist, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Details about his parents are unknown. Bostic played clarinet in school and saxophone with the local Boy Scouts. By 1930 or 1931 when he left Tulsa to tour with Terrence Holder's Twelve Clouds of Joy, Bostic was already a saxophone virtuoso. Fellow saxophonist Buddy Tate recalls that Bostic was asked to join the band because of his dexterity and maturity as a soloist. Holder's band members then informally tested Bostic's ability to read difficult music: skipping the opportunity to rehearse, Bostic counted off an impossibly fast tempo and played the piece on first sight with such skill that only he and the drummer made it through to the end. “We let him alone after that,” Tate said.

Sometime in the early 1930s Bostic spent a year at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska playing by day in an ROTC band and by night with ...