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Artist Biographies (225)

Read about the in-depth lives of your favorite jazz musician and what inspires their music.

Jazz Saxaphonist Larry Slezak was born in Manhattan in 1946. He gravitated to the saxophone after hearing Bill Doggett’s hit recording of "Honky Tonk." Growing up in New York afforded him the opportunity, while still in his teens, to hear all the great musicians live: from Armstrong to Ellington and Basie. He was drawn to the music and was working professionally by the time he was 14. Since relocating to Houston in 1973, Slezak has mastered the entire reed instrument family and has per …
Thomas Hultén is a jazz and classical trombone player, arranger and composer. Thomas is currently Acting Principal trombone with the Houston Grand Opera. He is also recording a solo-CD to be released by the Tierra Studios label by September 2009. He started playing at the age of ten in the local Salvation Army Band in his hometown of Katrineholm, Sweden. After completing his military service with the Swedish Army Band in 1984, he studied trombone performance at the Gothenburg Conservatory wi …
Like vocalist Rene Marie, this composer-vocalist-arranger and band manager, Carolanne Matteson gave up singing rock and swing; then, took a 17-year timeout to raise four children. During this time, she also obtained a BA in philosophy and an MA in the history of art and architecture, after which she published several articles in journals. But recently, she and her husband, Jim, returned to music. Ms. Matteson rediscovered her love for the bebop and hard bop music of Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rolli …
29.01.2011

Jeff Golub

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Jeff Golub was born on April 15, 1955 in Copley, Ohio just outside of Akron. It was growing up in Ohio where he first started listening to the blues rock artists of that time like Cream and Led Zeppelin and deeply affected by jazz improvisational players like Wes Montgomery. These musical influences would greatly impact his ideals and impressions about what music should be like. His fan worshipping inspired him to want to play the guitar and he began his ascension into becoming an axeman whil …
29.01.2011

Jeff Magnus

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As a new emerging, independent and unsigned modern jazz saxophonist, JEFF MAGNUS proudly presents to you a collection of original music. The release of his 1st debut E.P. entitled 'Magnufication'. JEFF MAGNUS started playing the saxophone when he was 12 years old. He leans towards the influences of Dexter Gordon, Cannonball, Coltrane, Grover Washington & David Sanborn. He grew up in a small town called Harvard, Massachusetts and later graduated from the Uni …
14.09.2011

Jeff Richman

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Jeff Richman is a professional guitarist with a 35 year career in performance guitar, composing, arranging and recording. He has produced 16 solo albums and toured worldwide.
29.01.2011

Jeff Shurdut

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PROPHETIC, charged, and challenging. "Unique an intellect, provocateur," says Cecil Taylor. Shurdut is at times a study in contradiction. An abstract artist who considers himself a realist, Shurdut says, "Nothing is more abstract than reality." Jeffrey Shurdut's work is charged and challenging. It comes from the heart and the intellect. His subject is an amalgam of Psychology, Sex, Race, Religion, Politics, and Patriotism. "Society" and, it is even likely that, expectation have played into being …
Saxophonist and composer Jerome Sabbagh was born in Paris, France in 1973. He studied with Philippe Chagne, Eric Barret and Jean-Louis Chautemps before moving to the States at the age of 20. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston on scholarship for two years and studying with, among others, George Garzone, Bill Pierce, Dave Liebman and the legendary Joe Viola, he moved to New York in 1995. There he formed the collective Flipside with guitarist Greg Tuohey, bassist Matt Penman and dru …
When I was twenty-one, I fell in love with a sound. That sound, a romantic harmonic-engaging rhythm that swept across the United States like the plague in 1962, still lingers near my heart. I close my eyes and remember driving up the coast from Los Angeles in my boyfriend's fire-engine red, classic '52 Jag, wind blowing my hair, sun against my face and Jobim's songs playing against the sound of the surf. That was in 1968, and the bossa nova (new wrinkle, new wave) movement was in its heyday. It …
29.01.2011

Joe Henderson

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He’s not Pres-like or Bird like, not Trane-ish or New-ish. None of the stylish adjectives so commonly use to describe the work of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. It’s evident he’s listened to the greats, to Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins- to them and all the others he’s enjoyed. But he doesn’t play like them, doesn’t sound like them, Joe Henderson is a master, and like the greats, UNIQUE. Henderson, whose brother is also a saxophonist, first came to prominen …
29.01.2011

Joe Pass

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Guitarist Joe Pass has been on the scene since the 1940s, achieving widespread recognition in the '70s due to shrewd management by Norman Granz. A veteran of countless sessions with a wide selection of musicians-Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Gerald Wilson, Les McCann, Earl Bostic and Duke Ellington - Pass is a complete professional. Since singing to Pablo, he made triumphant appearances at the Montreux Festival (Joe Pass at Montreux) and JATP tours with Oscar Peterson, Zoot Sims etc. A sensiti …
29.01.2011

John Butcher

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John Butcher was born in Brighton, England and has lived in London since the late 1970s. His playing ranges through free improvisation, various structurings, his own compositions, multitracked saxophone pieces and work with live electronics, amplification and feedback.He has toured and broadcast throughout Europe, Japan and North America, and was featured, playing solo, in the BBC TV programme Date with an Artist. Compositions include pieces for the Austrian group Polwechsel …
29.01.2011

John Jorgenson

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Born in Madison, WI to an orchestra conductor and a piano instructor, John was surrounded by music from birth. Before John's first birthday, his family moved to southern California, where John's youth was spent studying music -- first on the piano at age 5 and then on the clarinet at age 8. When as a 10-year-old he first discovered the music of the Beatles, John began begging his parents for a guitar. Originally unenthusiastic about it, his parents stalled for two years in getting John his first …
29.01.2011

John McLaughlin

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With his revolutionary Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin became one of the most influential and individual fusion guitarists of the 1970s. His awesome, soaring, seemingly ever-ascending guitar lines- exploding in increasing mind-bending time signatures- tests the limits of human endurance for both player and listener. Born in Yorkshire England, on January 4, 1942, McLaughlin was encouraged to learn piano from age 9 by his mother, an amateur violinist. All his brothers were musical a …
Style...Grace...Class Joyce Yuille has had a pretty interesting life in which music has played a major part in someway. Starting as a runway model she eventually found her true path The union between her soul and God given talent as a singer. Born in New York city, Joyce has been extremely influenced by diverse styles of music such as R&B, gospel, blues, classical and jazz. Her admiration for divas such as Billie Holiday, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn and Phyllis Hyman, whom she's been vocall …
Judi Marie brings to the stage a unique jazz style that is steeped in a rich musical history. Beginning her musical training at the age of seven with the classical piano (she performed at the Julliard School of Music through her thirteenth year), she then turned her studies to voice, training classically through high school. At the age of 19, Judi became interested in jazz singing, and was introduced to the late Lennie Tristano, an innovative jazz pianist and genius in his field, with whom s …
29.01.2011

Karen Lane

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KAREN LANE originally from Perth Western Australia, moved to Sydney in 1990. Her initial grounding was the graveyard shift in seedy Kings Cross, with10 piece original soul funk band, The Hard Word. Her first foray into Jazz quickly followed with the formation of The Eclectics, a sophisticated lounge trio playing standards. She won coveted slots, including headline at 1993 Western Australia’s York Jazz Festival, and support for the elite British jazz pianist, Julian Joseph, during his 1994 Austra …
Satin Doll, was released on January 14, 2003 and has already reached #3 on the Jazz Charts and #8 on the Top 200 Radio Releases on CMJ (All Genre's). Upon return from Gaffney's latest U.S. Tour she joined forces with Erik Hargrove (Current Drummer for James Brown), Hal Melia (Director of Jazz Studies for KCMU University) her long time collaborator and partner Jeff Williams to create her Sophomore Release "Satin Doll". This release features a seasoned grown up Gaffney. Her voice soa …
29.01.2011

Keely Smith

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Keely Smith and her lovely jazz vocals have endured for many a year now, and she has rightfully earned the title, "The Queen of Swing." Her voice is amazing, and the songs she sang in the 1950s with Louis Prima in Las Vegas are still in style! In addition to her CD release, "Swing, Swing, Swing," she now has "Keely Sings Sinatra." A lifelong friend of Sinatra, whose nickname for her was "Injun,'" Keely offers the audience a collection of Sinatra songs her way and in tribute to the man. …
29.01.2011

Keith Jarrett

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The celebrated pianist Keith Jarrett first established his reputation in the popular Charles Lloyd group (Dream Weaver) where he proved himself to be a dazzlingly gifted player. A period with Miles Davis in the early '70s (Live Evil and At Fillmore) did not lead- as with pianists Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock- to the subsequent formation of a jazz-rock outfit. Jarrett's career has been remarkably diverse. Born Allentown, Pennsylvania, on May 8, 1945, Jarrett learned piano …