Baptiste Trotignon was born on June 17, 1974 near Paris, France. He started playing the violin at the age of 6 and the piano three years later attending the Nantes Conservatory. While there he won prizes for both piano and harmony. During his teen years he discovered and taught himself jazz and improvisation, playing his first concerts at the age of sixteen.
In 1994 he appeared in the movie Le Nouveau Monde as both actor and musician. Four years later he formed his own trio with bassist Clovis Nicolas and drummer Tony Rabeson. In 2000 he recorded his debut album Fluide winning the Django d’Or for Best First Album. His sophomore release Sightseeing picked up the Prix Django Reinhardt. He recorded his debut solo piano album was in 2003 titled Solo.
Over the course of his career he has performed with Eric Harland, Fabrizio Bosso, Russell Malone, Jeremy Pelt, Tom Harrell, Jeanne Added, Melody Gardot, onica Passos, Miossec, Donald Harrison, Billy Hart, Bireli Lagrene, Kenny Wheeler, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Gregory Hutchinson, Ari Hoenig, Brad Mehldau, David Murray, Stefano di Batista, Milton Nascimento, Didier Lockwood, Archie Shepp and the list goes on and on.
Pianist Baptiste Trotignon continues to compose music and and perform, often playing classical music as well as his own compositions and interpretations of music from Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan to Edith Piaf.
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Stanley Aubrey Wrightsman was born on June 15, 1910 in Gotebo, Oklahoma. He began playing professionally in a Gulfport, Mississippi hotel, and in territory bands in Oklahoma. In 1930, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where he played with Ray Miller. From 1935–1936 he worked with Ben Pollack in Chicago, Illinois.
His career was interrupted by an illness, but then worked in California with the Seger Ellis Orchestra in 1937. He made his debut recordings were made soon thereafter with Spike Jones and his City Slickers. In the Forties and Fifties, Stan played with various big bands and ensembles in the traditional jazz genre, including Artie Shaw, Wingy Manone, Eddie Miller, Rudy Vallee, Nappy Lamare, Johnny Mercer, Harry James, Bob Crosby, Matty Matlock, Pete Fountain, The Rampart Street Paraders, Ray Bauduc, Wild Bill Davison, and Bob Scobey.
Wrightsman appeared in films and on the soundtrack of Blues in the Night, in which he stood in for Richard Whorf on piano, Syncopation, the Jack Webb film Pete Kelly’s Blues, the Red Nichols biopic The Five Pennies and in the feature film The Crimson Canary he appeared as a pianist.
During the 1960s, Wrightsman reunited with Pete Fountain and continued his work with Hollywood film studios. At the end of the decade, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he played as a sideman for Wayne Newton and Flip Wilson.
From 1937 to 1971 he recorded 174 sessions that included Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt, George Van Eps, and Peggy Lee, whom he accompanied on the celesta for the song That Old Feeling in 1944. On December 17, 1975 pianist Stan Wrightsman passed away in Palm Springs, California.
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Hotep Idris Galeta was born Cecil Galeta on June 7, 1941 in Crawford, Cape Town, South Africa but according to local custom he was more commonly known as Cecil Barnard, using his father’s first name instead of a last name.
In his teens Hotep played with some of the best jazz musicians in South Africa; Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) and Lami Zokufa who introduced him to bebop and hard bop. Galeta left South Africa clandestinely for the United Kigdom after the Sharpeville Massacre made it impossible for anyone but white artists to have quality of life. After a year in the UK, he moved to the United States.
Once in the United States, he played and recorded with Herb Alpert, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Hugh Masekela, Jackie McLean, Mario Pavone, Joshua Redman and Archie Shepp. Outside jazz he performed and recorded with David Crosby and the Byrds. In 1985, Jackie McLean invited him to teach at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where he taught until he returned to South Africa in 1991, following the collapse of apartheid.
Once home he recorded, performed, and taught at the University of Fort Hare, held the musical directorship of a national music education program for high schools, and coordinator of music outreach programs in Cape Town. He has been Project Manager for the establishment of a school of jazz and a multimedia audio visual production center at the University of Fort Hare’s new urban campus in the east coast South African city of East London in the Eastern Cape Province. Pianist, composer and bandleader Hotep Idris Galeta passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa on the November 3, 2010 following an asthma attack.
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Anthony Braxton was born June 4, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. He studied philosophy at Roosevelt University and early in his career he led a trio with violinist Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. He was involved with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) founded in his birthplace.
In 1969, Braxton recorded the double album For Alto, the first full-length album for unaccompanied saxophone. The album’s tracks were dedicated to Cecil Taylor and John Cage among others. The album influenced other artists like soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and trombonist George Lewis, who would go on to record their own solo albums.
Joining pianist Chick Corea’s trio with bassist Dave Holland and Barry Altschul they form the short-lived avant garde quartet Circle around 1970. When Corea broke up the group to form Return To Forever, Holland and Altschul remained with Braxton for much of the 1970s as part of a quartet, rotating Kenny Wheeler, George Lewis and Ray Anderson. With Sam Rivers they recorded Holland’s This group recorded for Arista Records and the core trio with saxophonist Sam Rivers recorded Holland’s Conference of the Birds on ECM. In the 1970s he recorded duets with Lewis and with synthesizer player Richard Teitelbaum. In 1975, he released Muhal with the Creative Construction Company featuring Richard Davis, Steve McCall, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith and Leroy Jenkins. He would oo on to record through the 70s, 80s and early 90s wth Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway.
He performed at the Woodstock Jazz Festival, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, composed his Ghost Trance Music released on his now defunct Braxton House label, and the final Ghost House live recordings at the New York City Iridium club were released by Firehouse 12 label in 2007. He recorded a prodigious series of multi-disc sets of standards during the 1990 and early 2000s
Besides playing saxophone, Braxton also plays clarinet, flute and piano, performs and records in the avant-garde, improvisation, bebop and mainstream genres, composes operas, orchestral and classical compositions, and is an avid chess player. He is the author of multiple volumes explaining his theories and pieces, such as the philosophical three-volume Triaxium Writings and the five-volume Composition Notes.
Composer and instrumentalist Anthony Braxton has released well over 100 albums since the 1960s, has taught at Mills College in the Eighties, was Professor of Music at Wesleyan University from the 1990s until his retirement at the end of 2013, and in 2013, was named a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.
Irène Schweizer was born on June 2, 1941 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. She studied piano and immersed herself in the free improvisation genre but is adept at playing various jazz styles.
She has performed and recorded numerous solo piano performances as well as performing as part of the Feminist Improvising Group with Lindsay Cooper, maggie Nichols, Georgie Born, and Sally Potter. Schweizer has played a series of duets with drummers Pierre Favre, Louis Moholo, Andrew Cyrille, Gunter Sommer, Han Bennink and Hamid Drake.
Irène has performed in trio and quartet sessions with John Tchicai, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald and with Yusef Lateef, Uli Trepte and Mani Neumeier at the Montreux Jazz Festival.. One of her most enduring collaborations is with the improvising musician Rudiger Carl.
Pianist Irène Schweizer continues to perform and record in the the free jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation genres.
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