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Scott Yanow

jazz pianist, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Hanna began playing piano when he was eleven years old. His first music teacher was his father, a preacher at the local church, who also played saxophone. His brother played trumpet and violin. Hanna doubled on the alto saxophone when he was attending Cass Technical High School, although he did not pursue that instrument.

Hanna began working professionally in Detroit clubs in 1948 when he was sixteen years old. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952, he became a significant part of the rich Detroit jazz and piano scene, following in the footsteps of Hank Jones and his contemporaries Barry Harris and Tommy Flanagan.

Moving to New York to study at Juilliard in 1955, Hanna gained attention and displayed his versatility during stints with the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1958 including performing at the Newport Jazz ...

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Charles Rosenberg

a singer who lived for over thirty years in Russia, both under Tsar Nicholas and during the first decades of the Soviet Union, was born in Augusta, Georgia, according to her 1901 passport application. Some accounts give her year of birth as 1870. Multiple passport applications give 1875. Census records suggest she may have been the daughter of John and Ann Harris, who in 1880 were illiterate tenant farmers in Carnesville, Franklin County, northwest of Augusta. The subsequent history of her older brothers, Andrew J. and Henry Harris, and younger sister Lulu, are unknown.

In 1892Harris married Joseph B. Harris (no relation), moving with him to Brooklyn, where she worked as a domestic and directed a Baptist church choir. She went to Europe in May 1901 as a member of the “Louisiana Amazon Guards,” a singing group assembled by the German promoter Paule ...

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Adam W. Green

actor, was born in Nebraska and raised in a foster home from the age of nine. He eventually held menial jobs in the countryside, working in the mines and delivering messages, before becoming enamored of the theater. Rudd moved east to earn a spot on the stage, and began performing regularly in Philadelphia in the early 1920s. Though he was initially disgruntled by the lack of opportunities given to him even on stage, Rudd was soon “discovered” by Jasper Deeter, a director and founder of Hedgerow, a white theater in Moylan-Rose Valley, Pennsylvania. Deeter began using Rudd as part of his repertory company, most notably as the eponymous character in a critically acclaimed production of The Emperor Jones. In 1930, the same year Paul Robeson famously played Othello in London, Rudd was said to have performed it at Hedgerow, in America.

Along with the roles supplied ...