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Jazz Pianist

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NEWS
February 16, 1999 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
John A. "Jaki" Byard, eclectic jazz pianist, composer and teacher who recorded with such luminaries as Charles Mingus and Rahasaan Roland Kirk, has been found shot to death. He was 76. Byard was shot in the head Thursday in his home in Queens, N.Y., which he shared with his two daughters. The family said no shots were heard, and a police investigation is continuing. His life and his music paralleled the evolution of jazz.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Robert Glasper has plenty of people he can call on for guest appearances at his gigs. The jazz pianist's acclaimed 2012 album, “Black Radio,” contains cameos by Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello and Lupe Fiasco, among others, while a just-released sequel adds Snoop Dogg, Norah Jones and Jill Scott to the mix. Yet Thursday night at the El Rey, where Glasper played the final date of a brief tour in support of “Black Radio 2,” he brought to...
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Underrated yet influential jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller died in Allentown, Pa., on Wednesday after suffering a stroke. He was 57. A member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1980s as well as a sideman to Tony Williams, Wallace Roney, Kenny Garrett and many others, Miller was featured on more than 400 recordings that included many sessions for which he was the leader, including an lushly rendered run of live albums over the last 10 years....
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Wednesday night in Walt Disney Concert Hall, the probing Hungarian pianist András Schiff begins the third round in his three-season survey of Bach's major keyboard works suitable for piano by playing the six "English" Suites. Pianistic "purity" is Schiff's style, entering into the essence of the notes and their vast implications for expression and meaning. But when it comes to Bach, anything goes. Do with the music what you will. It welcomes abuse, loving or otherwise. And everything goes with Bach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2013
Mulgrew Miller, 57, an influential pianist regarded as one of the finest mainstream jazz players of his generation, died May 29 at an Allentown, Pa., hospital from complications of a stroke, the Allentown Morning Call reported. The versatile pianist made hundreds of recordings and worked with a series of imposing jazz leaders. In the 1980s he was a member of Grammy-winning bandleader Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Miller also had important stints with singer Betty Carter, a noted jazz improvisationalist, and Woody Shaw, an innovative jazz trumpeter.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2012 | By Reed Johnson
The story may be apocryphal, but according to legend (i.e. Wikipedia) the jazz pianist John Beasley put together his first drum kit at age 2, using kitchen pots and pans. History does not record the title of the debut tune that Beasley performed on his DIY percussion set (let's hope, for his parents' sake, that it didn't take place 'round midnight). But history does record that Beasley went on to write a jazz composition that landed him a scholarship at age 14; record with Miles Davis, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, among many others; make music for TV's "Fame" and "Cheers"; contribute to film soundtracks including "The Godfather III"; and consistently craft jazz-funk-roots fusion discs that cause critics to use encomiums like, "a groove so deep you could fall right in. " Best of 2012:   Movies  |  TV  |  Pop music  |  Jazz  |  Video Games |  Art  |  Theater  |  Dance  |  Classical music So take note, jazz historians: Next month, Beasley will collaborate on four consecutive Wednesdays during a residency at the Blue Whale in downtown's Little Tokyo.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Austin Peralta, the 22-year-old jazz piano prodigy, composer and son of professional skater Stacy Peralta, has died. Flying Lotus, the beat producer and labelhead who released Peralta's music, confirmed the news Thursday morning via Twitter, writing: "it kills me to type that we lost a member of our family, Austin Peralta. I don't really have the right words right now. " Peralta's cause of death has not been announced.  Peralta's recent output has ranged from collaborations on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint, including the pianist's 2011 album "Endless Planets," and session work for artists including Erykah Badu and the Cinematic Orchestra.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2013 | By Don Heckman
Paul Smith, a jazz pianist, arranger-composer and music director for stars such as Sammy Davis Jr., Anita O'Day, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, the Andrews Sisters, Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney, has died. He was 91. Smith died of heart failure Saturday at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, publicist Alan Eichler said. At 6 feet 5, with hands that easily spanned the piano keyboard well beyond octaves, Smith was an impressive sight on stage. Playing with a versatility comparable to that of Oscar Peterson and a harmonic richness similar to the work of Bill Evans, he was both a brilliant soloist and an accompanist who was highly praised by the many singers with whom he performed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Don Heckman
Marian McPartland, a jazz pianist and composer whose radio show "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" was National Public Radio's longest running and most widely carried jazz program, has died. She was 95. McPartland died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Port Washington, N.Y., NPR reported . One of the jazz world's most visible female instrumentalists, McPartland's highly personal style was rich with colorful harmonies and briskly swinging rhythms, enhanced by a love of bebop, while adapting smoothly to the many stylistic changes taking place in jazz over the course of a career spanning more than half a century.
NEWS
August 9, 1993
Roy Budd, 46, noted jazz pianist and composer who scored more than 50 films including "Get Carter." The son of a London grocer, Budd taught himself to play the piano and gave his first public performance at age 7. In addition to the music for the 1971 thriller starring Michael Caine, his film scores included "The Wild Geese" in 1978.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Fred Katz, a musician, composer and educator who helped introduce the cello to jazz, died Sept. 7 in Santa Monica from complications of kidney failure and liver cancer. He was 94. His death was confirmed by his son, Hyman Katz. A child prodigy on piano and cello, Katz studied under Pablo Casals and performed with the National Symphony in Washington. He also backed Lena Horne and Tony Bennett on piano before bridging the gap between classical training and improvisation in the vibrant L.A. jazz scene of the '50s as part of the Chico Hamilton Quintet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Don Heckman
Marian McPartland, a jazz pianist and composer whose radio show "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" was National Public Radio's longest running and most widely carried jazz program, has died. She was 95. McPartland died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Port Washington, N.Y., NPR reported . One of the jazz world's most visible female instrumentalists, McPartland's highly personal style was rich with colorful harmonies and briskly swinging rhythms, enhanced by a love of bebop, while adapting smoothly to the many stylistic changes taking place in jazz over the course of a career spanning more than half a century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013
Lee Thompson Young Star of '90s 'Famous Jett Jackson' series Lee Thompson Young, 29, an actor best known for playing the lead role in the 1990s Disney Channel series "The Famous Jett Jackson," was found dead Monday morning at his home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles police said. A law enforcement source told The Times the death was being investigated as a possible suicide. "It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning," Young's manager, Jonathan Baruch, said in a statement issued to the website Deadline.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2013 | By Don Heckman
Paul Smith, a jazz pianist, arranger-composer and music director for stars such as Sammy Davis Jr., Anita O'Day, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, the Andrews Sisters, Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney, has died. He was 91. Smith died of heart failure Saturday at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, publicist Alan Eichler said. At 6 feet 5, with hands that easily spanned the piano keyboard well beyond octaves, Smith was an impressive sight on stage. Playing with a versatility comparable to that of Oscar Peterson and a harmonic richness similar to the work of Bill Evans, he was both a brilliant soloist and an accompanist who was highly praised by the many singers with whom he performed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2013
Mulgrew Miller, 57, an influential pianist regarded as one of the finest mainstream jazz players of his generation, died May 29 at an Allentown, Pa., hospital from complications of a stroke, the Allentown Morning Call reported. The versatile pianist made hundreds of recordings and worked with a series of imposing jazz leaders. In the 1980s he was a member of Grammy-winning bandleader Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Miller also had important stints with singer Betty Carter, a noted jazz improvisationalist, and Woody Shaw, an innovative jazz trumpeter.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Underrated yet influential jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller died in Allentown, Pa., on Wednesday after suffering a stroke. He was 57. A member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1980s as well as a sideman to Tony Williams, Wallace Roney, Kenny Garrett and many others, Miller was featured on more than 400 recordings that included many sessions for which he was the leader, including an lushly rendered run of live albums over the last 10 years....
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
Jazz pianist Neil Cowley may not be a household name, but odds are pretty good you've heard him in your household. Backing Adele on both her breakthrough album, "19," and the nearly inescapable follow-up, "21," Cowley stepped in after the singer's original keyboardist returned to his day job. Those are his chunky chords you've bobbed your head along with during the Grammy-winning chorus of "Rolling in the Deep. " "As my manager says, I'm the most listened-to pianist on the planet - but no one's aware of who I am," Cowley said with a laugh.
NEWS
November 17, 1998 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Kenny Kirkland, jazz pianist known for his work with Sting, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis and his band on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show," has died at age 43. Kirkland was found dead Friday in his home in Queens, N.Y. Drug paraphernalia was reportedly found nearby, but the cause of death remained undetermined, according to medical examiners. In a statement Monday, Branford Marsalis mourned the passing of Kirkland, whom he called "a musical genius."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Veteran Southland roots rocker Dave Alvin, sonic experimentalists String Theory and Grammy-winning Latin rock group Quetzal top the bill for Saturday's free all-day South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk . Alvin -- a member of the Blasters, X, the Knitters and an acclaimed solo singer-songwriter-guitarist -- will headline the Carnegie Stage at the South Pasadena Public Library, which also will host jazz pianist John Proulx, the...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 2013 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
The lineup for the 35th annual Playboy Jazz Festival has been announced, and in addition to the weekend-long concert's signature mix of jazz, funk and R&B, the festival also revealed that comic and former late-night host George Lopez will take over for longtime host Bill Cosby this year. Cosby had served as master of ceremonies at the festival since 1979, and last year the comedy legend stepped down after becoming as much a part of the show's fabric as the Hollywood Bowl, parasols and picnic baskets.
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