A jazz writer for three decades, W. Royal Stokes has a special talent for capturing the initial spark that launches a musician's career. In Growing Up With Jazz, he has interviewed twenty-four instrumentalists and singers who talk candidly about the early influences that started them on the road to jazz and where that road has taken them.
Stokes offers a kaleidoscopic look at the jazz scene, featuring musicians from a dazzling array of backgrounds. Ray Gelato recalls the life of a working class youth in London, Patrizia Scascitelli recounts being a child prodigy in Rome who became the first woman of Italian jazz, and Billy Taylor tells about his childhood in Washington, DC, where his grandfather was a Baptist minister and his father a dentist--and everyone in the family seemed well trained in music. Perhaps most exotic is Luluk Purwanto, an Indonesian violinist who as a child listened to gamelan music in the morning and took violin lessons in the afternoon (on an instrument so expensive she didn't dare quit).
For some, the flame burned bright at an early age. Jane Monheit sang before she could speak and was set on a musical career by age eight. Lisa Sokolov played classical piano, sang opera and choral music, and was in a jazz band--all by high school. But Carol Sudhalter, though born into a very musical family, was a botany major at Smith, and only became a serious musician after college, quitting a government job to study the flute and saxophone in Italy.
From Art Blakey to Claire Daly to Don Byron, here are the compelling stories of two dozen top musicians finding their way in the world of jazz.
"W. Royal Stokes is sensitive to the range of experiences of people who have 'grown up with jazz, ' yielding a fascinating, often-surprising, kaleidoscope of life stories. Organized as a history of the present, Stokes interviews the jazz musicians he hears at the turn of the 21st century, and invites them to relate how they 'got there' from a wide variety of historical, social, cultural, and national trajectories. It is so refreshing to see so many women musicians included in a jazz book that isnt ear-marked 'women-in-jazz.' Clearly Stokes 'gets it' that women are already in jazz!" --Sherrie Tucker, Associate Professor at the University of Kansas, author of Swing Shift: All-Girl Bands of the 1940s
"Royal Stokes, an expert interviewer, has assembled a truly amazing cast of characters here, illuminating his conviction that jazz has become a global phenomenon. Surprises are in store for any and all interested in the music and its makers."--Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute
Number Of Pages: 242
Published: 1st March 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.809 x 15.342 x 2.311
Weight (kg): 0.513