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Sean Elias

pianist, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, community activist, and philanthropist, was born in “Gert Town” (also referenced as “Gehrke” and “Goit” Town), a small African American neighborhood enclave on the west side of New Orleans, Louisiana, to Naomi Neville. By age seven, Toussaint began to play the piano—an instrument perfectly suited for his future career as a composer and songwriter of different musical genres. His grandmother had purchased the piano for his sister, Joyce, so she could learn classical music. While his older brother Vincent played guitar Toussaint took piano lessons from his sister He also entered Xavier University s Junior School of Music for a short while He combined his formal musical training with the ability to learn songs by ear a skill acquired through listening to and learning songs on the radio During his preteen years Toussaint was exposed to ...


James Fargo Balliett

musician and record producer, was born in Buffalo, New York, to Lillian Washington, a hairdresser and business owner, and Grover Washington Sr., a steelworker. Young Washington grew up in a family that encouraged creativity in music. His father played saxophone and was an avid record collector, and his mother sang in the church choir. Both of Washington's brothers were also musically inclined: Darryl played the drums and Michael played the keyboard At age ten Washington began playing saxophone and by his teenage years was sneaking out of the house to watch and play in jazz clubs His parents enrolled him in the Wurlitzer School of Music to study classical music He took lessons on the piano bass guitar and drums By high school he was a member of the Buffalo all city high school band as a baritone saxophonist At age sixteen Washington left home to become a professional ...