Artists

Akinmusire, Ambrose

During his 15-year career, Ambrose Akinmusire has paradoxically situated himself in both the center and the periphery of jazz, most recently emerging in classical and hip hop circles. He’s on a perpetual quest for new paradigms, masterfully weaving inspiration from other genres, arts, and life in general into compositions that are as poetic and graceful as they are bold and unflinching. His unorthodox approach to sound and composition make him a regular on critics polls and have earned him earned him grants and commissions from the Doris Duke Foundation, the MAP Fund, the Kennedy Center

The Berlin Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz. While Akinmusire continues to garner accolades, his reach is always beyond—himself, his instrument, genre, form, preconceived notions, and anything else imposing limitations.

Allison, Mose

Mose Allison was born in the Mississippi Delta on his grandfather’s farm near the village of Tippo. At five he discovered he could play the piano by ear and began “picking out” blues and boogie woogie tunes he heard on the local jukebox. In high school he listened to the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, and his prime inspiration, Nat Cole of the King Cole Trio. He played trumpet in the marching and dance bands and started writing his own songs. After a year at the University of Mississippi, he went to the Army in l946, playing in the Army Band in Colorado Springs and performing with accomplished musicians from around the country in small groups at NCO and Officer’s clubs. Returning to Ole Miss he joined the dance band as arranger, piano and trumpet player, but shortly left to form his own trio, playing piano and singing in a style influenced by Nat Cole, Louis Jordan and Erroll Garner. After a year on the road, Mose married, returned to college at Louisiana State University and graduated in 1952 with a BA in English and Philosophy.He worked in nightclubs throughout the Southeast and West, blending the raw blues of his childhood with modern pianistic influences of John Lewis, Thelonius Monk and Al Haig. His vocal style was influenced by blues singers Percy Mayfield and Charles Brown.

Bacharach, Burt

Burt Bacharach is one of the most accomplished popular composers of the 20th Century. In the ’60s and ’70s, he was a dominant figure in pop music, racking up a remarkable 52 Top 40 hits. In terms of style, Bacharach’s songs differed from much of the music of the era. Bacharach compositions typically boasted memorable melodies, unconventional and shifting time signatures, and atypical chords. Combining elements of jazz, pop, Brazilian music and rock, Bacharach created a unique new sound that embodied the time. Hal David, Bacharach’s primary collaborator, supplied Bacharach’s music with lyrics worthy of the best Tin Pan Alley composers. David’s unsentimental, bittersweet lyrics were often in striking contrast to Bacharach’s soaring melodies. While in the late 1970s Bacharach’s name became synonymous with elevator music (due in great part to its sheer familiarity), a closer listening suggests that his meticulously crafted, technically sophisticated compositions are anything but easy listening.

Bennett, Richard Rodney

Bennett was born at Broadstairs, Kent, but was raised in Devon during World War II.[1] His mother, Joan Esther (Spink), was a pianist who had trained with Gustav Holst and sang in the first professional performance of The Planets.[2][3] His father, Rodney Bennett, (1890–1948) was a children's book author and poet, who worked with Roger Quilter on his theatre works and provided new words for some of the numbers in the Arnold Book of Old Songs.

Bennett was a pupil at Leighton Park School.[4] He later studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Ferguson, Lennox Berkeley and Cornelius Cardew. Ferguson regarded him as extraordinarily brilliant, having perhaps the greatest talent of any British composer in his generation, though lacking in a personal style. During this time, Bennett attended some of the Darmstadt summer courses in 1955, where he was exposed to serialism. He later spent two years in Paris as a student of the prominent serialist Pierre Boulez between 1957 and 1959.[5] He always used both his first names after finding another Richard Bennett active in music.

Bennett taught at the Royal Academy of Music between 1963 and 1965, at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, United States from 1970 to 1971, and was later International Chair of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music between 1994 and the year 2000. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1977, and was knighted in 1998.[6]

Bennett produced over two hundred works for the concert hall, and fifty scores for film and television. He was also a writer and performer of jazz songs for fifty years. Immersed in the techniques of the European avant-garde via his contact with Boulez, Bennett subsequently developed his own dramato-abstract style. In his later years, he adopted an increasingly tonal idiom.

Berardi, Kristin

Kristin Berardi is an Australian jazz singer. Her album with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, Kristin Berardi Meets The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, was nominated for the 2011 ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album

Bergman, Alan

Two of the world’s most distinguished lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have been contributing to the Great American Songbook for more than five decades. During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: “The Windmills of Your Mind” in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for “Yentl” in 1984. “Windmills” and “The Way We Were” also earned Golden Globe Awards, and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys.

Bergman, Alan

Two of the world’s most distinguished lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have been contributing to the Great American Songbook for more than five decades. During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: “The Windmills of Your Mind” in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for “Yentl” in 1984. “Windmills” and “The Way We Were” also earned Golden Globe Awards, and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys.

Bergman, Marilyn

Two of the world’s most distinguished lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have been contributing to the Great American Songbook for more than five decades. During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: “The Windmills of Your Mind” in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for “Yentl” in 1984. “Windmills” and “The Way We Were” also earned Golden Globe Awards, and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys.

Bergman, Marilyn

Two of the world’s most distinguished lyricists, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have been contributing to the Great American Songbook for more than five decades. During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: “The Windmills of Your Mind” in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for “Yentl” in 1984. “Windmills” and “The Way We Were” also earned Golden Globe Awards, and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys.

Bofill, Angela

Angela Bofill was born in Brooklyn, NY to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother. She grew up listening to Latin music and was also inspired by African-American performers. Her weekends were taken up studying classical music and singing in a city chorus. It was as a teenager that her professional singing began.

She performed with Ricardo Marrero & the Group and Dance Theater of Harlem chorus before being introduced to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen of the jazz label GRP Records by Dave Valentin, her friend and jazz flutist. Grusin and Rosen signed Bofill and produced her first album, Angie, in 1978. Angie was well received both critically and commercially and included the chart single "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" (co-written by Gwen Guthrie and Haras Fyre), and Bofill's sprawling jazz composition, "Under the Moon and Over the Sky".

Less than a year later, a second album, Angel of the Night was released and outperformed its predecessor. The album included the chart singles "What I Wouldn't Do (For the Love of You)" and the up tempo title track, as well as the song "I Try", written by Bofill and covered by Will Downing in 1991. The reception of these albums positioned Bofill as one of the first Latina singers to find success in the R&B and jazz markets.

Clive Davis, the head of Arista Records, showed interest in Bofill. Arista had a distribution deal with GRP. Bofill switched labels for her next album, Something About You (1981). Produced by Narada Michael Walden, the album was an attempt to move Bofill into mainstream R&B and pop music. It didn't perform as well as previous releases, despite the singles "Holdin' Out for Love" and the title track, which both reached the R&B Top 40.

The following year, she and Walden reunited for Too Tough. The title song reached No. 5 on the R&B chart and spent four weeks at No. 2 on the Dance chart. A follow-up single, "Tonight I Give In", reached the Top 20. Several months later, Bofill released her final collaboration with Walden, Teaser. The album failed to match the success of Too Tough but did produce one Top 20 R&B hit, "I'm On Your Side", which has been covered by several artists, most notably Jennifer Holliday, who had a Top 10 hit with it in 1991.