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Scott Yanow

jazz trombonist and vibraphonist, was born in Corsicana, Texas. His parents’ names are not recorded. Glenn began playing trombone when he was young and started his career working with local groups in Texas.

Glenn spent a long period performing with territory bands. He was featured with Tommy Mills's Orchestra, mostly in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, from 1934 to 1936; was in Los Angeles with Charlie Echols's big band in 1936; played with Eddie Barefield; and toured with Ethel Waters's backup band in 1939. After a brief stint with Benny Carter, he spent six years (1940–1946) with the Cab Calloway Orchestra. By then he was occasionally doubling on vibes (including on the recording of “Bye Bye Blues”) in addition to being the main trombone soloist. After leaving Calloway, Glenn toured Europe with Don Redman's band in 1946 staying overseas for a few months ...

Article

Donald Roe

jazz musician, philanthropist, and black Republican. Lionel Hampton's career as a musician spanned seven decades, during which he became a jazz icon. While Hampton was an excellent drummer, his mastery of the vibraphone and his popularity as a bandleader enabled him to stamp his unique signature on jazz. He presented music to the people with panache, exuberance, and showmanship. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on 20 April 1908, but moved to Chicago with his maternal grandmother, Louvenia Morgan, after his mother, Gertrude, remarried following the apparent death of his father, Charles, during World War I. Morgan enrolled Hampton in the Holy Rosary Academy, a Catholic School in Collins, Wisconsin, to protect him from the mean streets of Chicago. He learned to play the drums in the academy's fife and drum corps.

Hampton s grandmother was a conservative evangelical Christian but she encouraged his interest in secular ...

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Sholomo B. Levy

vibraphone pioneer, philanthropist, and big band leader, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Charles Edward, a railroad worker, and Gertrude Morgan, a waitress. Lionel's father was sent to France as a combat soldier during World War I and was soon declared missing in action. When his family could not learn of his whereabouts, they presumed that he had been killed. Mrs. Hampton had returned to her parents in Birmingham, Alabama, where Lionel was entrusted to his grandparents, Richard and Louvenia Morgan Lionel considered them to be his parents after his mother remarried and started a new family After achieving fame Lionel had a brief reunion with the father he thought he had lost three decades earlier when a fan told him of an elderly man who had been blinded in the war and living in a Veterans Administration hospital in Ohio who told everyone ...

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James Sellman

Lionel Hampton was a tireless and swinging Jazz soloist and bandleader who rose to prominence in the 1930s. Although committed to his swing-derived style, he remained open to new musical directions throughout his career. During the 1940s, his big band's shift from swing jazz helped create Rhythm and Blues (R&B). He later recorded a version of John Coltrane's influential 1959 composition, “Giant Steps.” In the 1990s a series of strokes affected his playing, but Hampton continued to tour and perform until shortly before his death.

Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky. His family had moved to Birmingham, Alabama, while he was an infant, but in 1919 they joined the Great Migration and settled in Chicago Hampton s mother secured his admission to Holy Rosary Academy 140 km 90 mi north of Chicago There Hampton learned the rudiments of drumming After transferring to another Catholic school in ...

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Scott Yanow

jazz vibraphonist, was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in a religious family in Mt. Vernon, New York. His parents’ names and occupations are not recorded. Hoggard started off on the piano, taking lessons with his mother, and the alto saxophone. He met Duke Ellington at Ellington's Sacred Concert in 1967 and was inspired to start taking music seriously. Hoggard began playing the vibraphone when he was 15. He studied in the World Music program at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and had an opportunity to travel to Tanzania to study firsthand East African xylophone and marimba music. In 1974 he toured with bassist Jimmy Garrison and trumpeter Clifford Thornton, who were on Wesleyan's faculty. After he graduated in 1976 he taught high school in New Haven and played at nearby Yale University with such adventurous musicians as pianist Anthony Davis trumpeter Leo Smith and drummer Pheeroan ...

Article

Scott Yanow

jazz vibraphonist, was born in Los Angeles, California. Hutcherson grew up in Pasadena. His mother, Esther, was a hairdresser. His sister, Peggy, was a singer who performed with Gerald Wilson's orchestra in 1958 and was one of Ray Charles's backup singers in the Raelettes. His older brother, Teddy, was a friend of Dexter Gordon. Hutcherson studied piano with an aunt and was partly self-taught but never became a professional pianist. After hearing the vibraphonist Milt Jackson play on a recording of “Bemsha Swing” when he was twelve, Hutcherson bought a set of vibes. He studied music with Terry Trotter and Dave Pike, and was soon playing in local clubs with bassist Herbie Lewis.

After graduating from high school in the late 1950s, Hutcherson worked in Los Angeles with the saxophonists Charles Lloyd, Eric Dolphy and Curtis Amy with whom he made his recording debut ...

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P. J. Cotroneo

musician, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Manley Jackson and Lillie Beaty. His parents' occupations are unknown. Milt was surrounded by music from an early age, and his strongest influence came from the music he heard during weekly religious meetings: “Everyone wants to know where I got that funky style. Well, it came from church. The music I heard was open, relaxed, impromptu soul music” (quoted in Hentoff). Inspired by the music he heard in church, Milt began playing the guitar when he was seven years old. Four years later he began studying the piano, and while attending Miller High School, he focused on the drums in addition to playing timpani and violin and singing in the school's choir. At sixteen he sang in a local gospel quartet called the Evangelist Singers. Milt eventually took up the vibraharp, or vibraphone, after hearing Lionel Hampton play ...

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P. J. Cotroneo

Jackson, Milt (01 January 1923–09 October 1999), musician, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Manley Jackson and Lillie Beaty Jackson. (His parents' occupations are unknown). Jackson was surrounded by music from an early age, and his strongest influence came from the music he heard during weekly religious meetings: “Everyone wants to know where I got that funky style. Well, it came from church. The music I heard was open, relaxed, impromptu soul music” (quoted in Nat Hentoff's liner notes to Plenty, Plenty Soul Inspired by the music he heard in church Jackson began playing the guitar when he was seven years old Four years later he began studying the piano and while attending Miller High School focused on the drums in addition to playing tympani and violin and singing in the school s choir at sixteen he sang in a local gospel quartet called ...

Article

jazz pianist and vibraphonist, was born Charles Montgomery in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents, whose names are unknown, later separated, and his older brothers were guitarist Wes Montgomery and bassist Monk Montgomery. Another brother, Thomas, played drums but died of pneumonia at nineteen. His sister Ervena played piano although not professionally.

Montgomery was self-taught on piano. He became a professional at eighteen, touring with singer Big Joe Turner. In addition to playing locally in Indianapolis, Montgomery worked with the Lionel Hampton big band and trombonist-arranger Slide Hampton. He served in the army from 1952 to 1954 and, after his discharge, he played with the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet from 1955 to 1957. The group consisted of Buddy, Wes, and Monk Montgomery plus altoist Pookie Johnson and drummer Sonny Johnson.

A fine bop-based pianist, Montgomery began doubling on the vibraphone in 1956, inspired initially by Lionel Hampton. In 1957 ...

Article

Kay Kaufman Shelemay

Ethiopian musician, virtuoso vibraphone player, and the innovator of Ethio-jazz, was born in December 1943 in Jimma, Ethiopia. Although Mulatu sensed early on that he was musical and vividly remembers enjoying listening to the music in his local Ethiopian Orthodox Church, there were no musicians in his family. His parents were angered when he mentioned his musical interests, due to Ethiopian musicians’ low social status and association with mendicancy. Following his family’s move to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Mulatu attended the Sandford English School, where he had his first exposure to Western classical music. By the mid-1950s, he had encountered the big band at the National Theatre (Haile Selassie I Theatre), and recalls being intrigued by its harmonic arrangements of traditional Ethiopian melodies.

In 1956 Mulatu left Ethiopia to study aeronautical engineering at the Lindisfarne School in North Wales There he began to study music for the first ...