William Grant Still is now in the Database

Composer William Grant Still (1895-1978), long considered “Dean of African-American Classical Composers” is now listed in the database. Still is known for inserting African-American folk songs and spirituals into his compositions. Two ballets are listed in the database, 1937’s Lenox Avenue and 1941’s Miss Sally’s Party. In Lenox Avenue, Still called for 3 saxophonists, Alto, Alto/Bari,Continue reading “William Grant Still is now in the Database”

Duke Ellington is now in the Database

Pianist, composer, and leader of one of the finest big bands in the 20th century, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) is now listed in the database. Ellington’s expressive, energetic, and dance like music makes him a go-to source for choreographers to create new and unique ballets. The choreographer Alvin Ailey, who founded the Alvin Ailey American DanceContinue reading “Duke Ellington is now in the Database”

Is this the first American Ballet to feature the saxophone?

Digging into American repertoire leads me to new and unique pieces. Skyscrapers (1926) by John Alden Carpenter is a ballet every saxophonist should acquaint themselves with. Here’s the unique story on how Skyscrapers: A Ballet of Modern American Life came to be. John Alden Carpenter (1876-1951) wrote Skyscrapers in 1923-24. His friendship with Sergey ProkofievContinue reading “Is this the first American Ballet to feature the saxophone?”

Wynton Marsalis is now listed in the database

Composer, Trumpeter, and the leader of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis is now listed in the database. Wynton Marsalis has collaborated with several ballet and dance companies, most notably the New York City Ballet and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In total, Marsalis composed six ballets listed in the database. One ofContinue reading “Wynton Marsalis is now listed in the database”

Anthony Braxton’s Trillium operas are now listed in the database

Saxophonist, composer, improviser, and an early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Anthony Braxton is now listed in the database. His works are performed and recorded through his organization, Tri-Centric Foundation. The three works listed in this database are operas from his Trillium Cycle. The Trillium Cycle is a work inContinue reading “Anthony Braxton’s Trillium operas are now listed in the database”

The Music of Fred Ho is now listed in the database

Saxophonist, author, composer, band leader, and social activist Fred Ho (1957-2014) is now listed in the database. Ho’s inclusion showcases some of the challenges that I encounter while compiling this database. Ho as a composer and instrumentalist exist outside of the traditional opera and ballet world. His music is not listed on any of theContinue reading “The Music of Fred Ho is now listed in the database”