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Vivian Njeri Fisher

musician and composer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Floyd Bartz, a railroad employee and club owner, and Elizabeth E. Bartz, a club owner. Bartz grew up in West Baltimore during an era when the music scene in that city was thriving. The hub of African American entertainment in Baltimore was found on Pennsylvania Avenue, although there were numerous clubs throughout the city owned by African Americans. At the age of six Bartz heard his first Charlie Parker recording at his grandmother s house Bartz recalled this formative moment Not knowing what the music was what the instrument was or who was playing I thought it was the most beautiful thing I ever heard I said right then I want to do whatever that is Ouellette 31 When Bartz was eleven he began to play the alto saxophone influenced to take up the instrument by his love ...


John Garst

bootblack, barber, porter, actor, singer, and politician, was born William Henry Harrison Duncan in Columbia, Missouri, to former slaves. A close friend, Henry Massey, persuaded him to come to St. Louis, where he was a “sport, a jolly fellow, a swell dresser, a ladies' favorite, but, above all, he was a magnificent singer.” As a member of Massey's Climax Quartet Duncan gained fame for his low, smooth, rich, sure, bass voice. He was also an actor and performed regularly at the London Theatre in St. Louis.

In Clayton, Missouri, west of St. Louis, Duncan was hanged for the murder of an Irish American policeman named James Brady in Charles Starkes's saloon at 715 N. 11th Street. A popular ballad complex (“Duncan and Brady,” “Brady and Duncan,” “Brady,” “King Brady”) arose after the murder.

At about 8:30 p.m. on 6 October 1890 ...


Elliott S. Hurwitt

jazz alto saxophonist, was born in Minneapolis, the son of the jazz guitarist Stanley Morgan and Geraldine (maiden name unknown), a homemaker. Frank's father worked with such important early bebop musicians as Howard McGhee during the years around 1940. Morgan grew up primarily in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and as a child began his musical studies on guitar. At the age of seven, while visiting Detroit with his parents, he was taken to see the big band of Jay (“Hootie”) McShann at the Paradise Theater. The McShann band included the young alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and when Parker soloed on Hootie Blues the young Morgan immediately wanted to take up the same instrument His father took Frank backstage to meet Parker the beginning of a long friendship Parker decided Morgan should begin on the clarinet a smaller instrument but Morgan was allowed to begin study of the alto saxophone ...