The United States Army Field Band of Washington DC is the U.S. Army’s premier touring musical organization, traveling throughout the country and internationally to connect the American people to their Army and to represent the nation around the world. Members of the Army Field Band can be seen each year performing for the nationally televised “A Capitol Fourth,” the National Memorial Day Concert, and every four years leading the Army Element of the Presidential Inaugural Parade. The Band is comprised of the Jazz Ambassadors, “America’s Big Band,” the Six-String Soldiers which is the world’s most followed military band on social media, and the Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus, featured on this recording. At the heart of the Band’s mission is telling stories of service that honor veterans and remind people what makes America a country worth protecting. armyfieldband.com
COLONEL JIM R. KEENE, MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
Colonel Jim Keene became the Commander of The United States Army Field Band in January 2015. Prior to this assignment, he served as Commander of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York; Commandant of the Army School of Music at Norfolk, Virginia; and at The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC, the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Army Ground Forces Band in Atlanta, Georgia.
COL Keene has led numerous performances for international military and civilian leaders, dignitaries, and heads of state. During his time as Commander of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, he led performances for the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, co-directed the music for A&E’s and the National Park Service’s “A New Birth of Freedom” special for the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg, and directed a one-hour music special holiday production by the West Point Band aired on Fox News, “A West Point Holiday.” COL Keene led The U.S. Army Chorus in performances at the interments of former Presidents Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley, California, and Gerald R. Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He has performed for seven U.S. presidents, at the 1996 Summer Olympic and Para-Olympic Games in Atlanta, the dedication of the National WWII Memorial, the one-year anniversary of 9/11 at the Pentagon, the “Kennedy Center Honors,” and the Military District of Washington’s production, “Spirit of America.” He has worked with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Chorus and the National Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. He holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of New Mexico.
DAN MERCERUIO, PRODUCER and EDITING ENGINEER
Dan Merceruio is a four-time GRAMMY nominee (Best Immersive Audio Album, 2018; Producer of the Year, Classical, 2015; Best Surround Sound Album, 2013; Producer of the Year, Classical, 2012), and winner of a Latin GRAMMY (Best Classical Album, 2012). Dan has produced and edited over 150 albums and projects for commercial release and television broadcast, with widely varied instrumentation configurations ranging from solo piano, lute duet, string quartet and wind quintet to a cappella vocal ensemble, chamber orchestra, symphonic and woodwind band as well as full symphonic orchestra with added chorus. He has produced and collaborated with such renowned artists and composers as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), International Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E.), Ann Thorvaldsdottir, The United States Army Field Band, West Point Symphonic Wind Band, Nordic Affect, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Lorelei Ensemble, Bach Sinfonia, Spektral Quartet, Bruce Levingston, Jenny Lin, Eleonor Bindman, Jory Vinikour, Christopher O’Riley, Pablo Zeigler, Ying Quartet, Jasper Quartet, Ronn McFarlane, Ensemble Galilei, Lara Downes, Peter Gregson, Stewart Goodyear, Janet Sung and many others. Dan produced the pre-recorded music for Macy’s July Fourth Live Fireworks Show television broadcast in collaboration with West Point Symphonic Band(s) in 2017 and 2018.
Dan graduated from Shenandoah University in 2006 with a bachelors in Commercial Music with an instrumental emphasis on Classical vocal performance, and a classical/jazz piano minor. He was presented an “Alumni of Excellence” award from Shenandoah in April 2017 for recognition of his significant contributions to the audio and production industry.
Dan currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) and is co-chair of the D.C. Chapter Producers and Engineers Committee.
LESLIE ANN JONES, RECORDING and MIXING ENGINEER
A recording and mixing engineer and record producer for over 30 years, Leslie has held staff positions at ABC Recording Studios in Los Angeles, the Automatt Recording Studios in San Francisco, Capitol Studios in Hollywood, and now Skywalker Sound where she continues her career in recording and mixing music for records, films, video games, and television, and producing records primarily in the Classical genre.
She is a past Chair of the Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and is the recipient of five GRAMMY Awards, including three for Best Engineered Album-Classical. She is a current Recording Academy Trustee from the San Francisco Chapter and serves on the Advisory Boards of Institute for Musical Arts, G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild), and is an Artistic Advisor to the Technology and Applied Composition degree program at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Leslie is an AES Heyser Lecturer and was inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame in 2019.
Leslie also chaired the committee that wrote “Recommendations for High Resolution Music Production,” published by the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy.
With a feverish imagination, impeccable musicianship, complexity, versatility, unbridled joy, and fearlessness, Laura Karpman makes music, which is, in the words of George Manahan, music director of the American Composer’s Orchestra, "a rare combination of heart and groin." With her rigorous musical approach, coupled with conceptual and progressive uses of technology and recording, Laura is a true 21st century American composer. Four-time Emmy winning composer and composer of the GRAMMY-winning album ASK YOUR MAMA, Laura Karpman maintains a vibrant career in film, television, videogame and concert music. Her distinguished credits include the series UNDERGROUND, in collaboration with Raphael Saadiq and John Legend, L.A.’s FINEST, The Sundance / Fox Searchlight film STEP, Eleanor Coppola’s PARIS CAN WAIT starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin, Kasi Lemmons’ BLACK NATIVITY starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker, Steven Spielberg’s miniseries TAKEN, the Showtime series ODYSSEY 5, and MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION for which she received Emmy nominations. She contributed to Sophia Coppola’s 2017 THE BEGUILED. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, she collaborated with soprano Jessye Norman and The Roots on ASK YOUR MAMA, a multimedia opera on a text by Langston Hughes, which received its sold out premiere at Carnegie Hall in March 2009, and its West Coast premiere at The Hollywood Bowl and was revived at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Laura was commissioned by the Glimmerglass Festival for Wilde Tales, directed by Francesca Zambello, developed an opera BALLS, a collaboration with NY Times columnist Gail Collins, with Yuval Sharon’s The Industry, and received a 2019 commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic for ALL AMERICAN. Laura has received two GANG awards and an additional nomination for her videogame music which has been performed by orchestras internationally, as well as an Annie Feature nomination. She serves as an advisor for the Sundance Film Scoring Labs and is on the faculty of the USC Film Scoring Program. Laura is the founding President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and is proud to serve as a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. laurakarpman.com
Max Steiner, in full Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner, (born May 10, 1888, Vienna, Austria—died Dec. 28, 1971, Hollywood, Calif., U.S.), Austrian-born U.S. composer and conductor. A prodigy, he wrote an operetta at age 14 that ran in Vienna for a year. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1914 and worked in New York City as a theatre conductor and arranger, and then he moved to Hollywood in 1929. He became one of the first and finest (if not subtlest) movie composers, establishing many techniques that became standard, with his scores for King Kong (1933), The Informer (1935, Academy Award), Gone with the Wind (1939), Now, Voyager (1942, Academy Award), Since You Went Away (1944, Academy Award), The Big Sleep (1946), The Fountainhead (1949), and many others. [BRITANNICA SOURCE]
Composer Michael Giacchino has credits that feature some of the most popular and acclaimed film projects in recent history, including The Incredibles, War for the Planet of the Apes, Ratatouille, Star Trek, Jurassic World, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Coco. Giacchino’s 2009 score for the Pixar hit Up earned him an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and two GRAMMY® Awards. Giacchino studied filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. After college, he landed a marketing job at Disney and began studies in music composition, first at Juilliard, and then at UCLA. He moved from marketing to producing in the newly formed Disney Interactive Division where he had the opportunity to write music for video games. After moving to DreamWorks Interactive, he was asked to score the temp track for the video game adaptation of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Subsequently, Steven Spielberg hired him as the composer and it became the first PlayStation game to have a live orchestral score, recorded with members of the Seattle Symphony. Giacchino went on to score numerous video games including Spielberg’s Medal of Honor series. Giacchino’s work in video games sparked the interest of J.J. Abrams, and thus began their long-standing relationship that would lead to scores for the hit television series Alias and Lost, and the feature films Mission Impossible III, Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness. Additional projects include collaborations with Disney Imagineering on music for Space Mountain, Star Tours (with John Williams), the Ratatouille ride in Disneyland Paris, and the Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at California Adventure. Giacchino was the musical director of the 81st Annual Academy Awards®. His music can be heard in concert halls internationally with all three Star Trek films, Ratatouille, Jurassic World, Up and Coco being performed live-to-picture with a full orchestra. In June 2018, Giacchino premiered his first work for symphony orchestra, Voyage. Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the piece celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of NASA. Giacchino’s most recent projects include Spider-Man: Far From Home and as well as Jojo Rabbit, a film by Taika Waititi. Giacchino serves as the Governor of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the advisory board of Education Through Music Los Angeles. michaelgiacchino.com
George M. Cohan
George M. Cohan, in full George Michael Cohan, (born July 3, 1878, Providence, R.I., U.S.—died Nov. 5, 1942, New York, N.Y.), American actor, popular songwriter, playwright, and producer especially of musical comedies, who became famous as the “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” At an early age he performed with his parents and sister, subsequently taking comedy roles in vaudeville and on the legitimate stage. By 1893 he was writing vaudeville skits and popular songs. His first full-length play opened in New York in 1901. A description of his early experiments and the stage career of the “Four Cohans” is in his autobiography, Twenty Years on Broadway and the Years It Took to Get There (1925). Among Cohan’s productions were The Governor’s Son (1901), Forty-five Minutes from Broadway (1906), The Talk of New York (1907), Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1910), Broadway Jones (1912), Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913), The Tavern (1921), The Song and Dance Man (1923), and American Born (1925). Among his best-known appearances were those in Ah, Wilderness! (1933) and I’d Rather Be Right (1937). He composed numerous songs, including “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Mary’s a Grand Old Name,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” and the famous “Over There” of World War I, for which Congress authorized him a special medal in 1940. His career was the subject of a motion picture, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), and a Broadway musical, George M! (1968). [BRITANNICA SOURCE]
Joseph S. DeBeasi
Composer, conductor Joseph S DeBeasi, has been praised for his blend of creative electronic sounds and traditional instrumentation. His use of melody and harmonic subtext embody the heart of his musical storytelling. His American Sniper Suite, an arrangement of his score for the movie, was recently featured on the concert Generations of Honor, The Soundtrack of the Amercian Soldier, where he served as guest conductor with the US Army Field Concert Band and Choir. The suite was recorded by the concert band at Skywalker Sound as part of a compilation for their CD. In March and November of 2018, Joseph was the featured composer and guest conductor for Sinfonia: Connecting The Arts & Community, honoring past and present military members. Both concerts presented world premieres of his work, including The American Sniper Suite and two symphonic works commissioned by Southeastern University: One More Minute and A Thousand Faces. His film scores include the original score for Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated, American Sniper, the award-winning feature documentary, Kidnapped for Christ, the feature comedy, Eleven Eleven, and Alpha, directed by Albert Hughes, for which he was co-composer. Alpha’s score was listed in the top ten best scores for 2018 by Film Music Magazine. Joseph is also known for his work as a music editor on feature films, including Wind River, The Revenant, Sicario, Prisoners, and Book of Eli. Joseph received a BMI Film Music Award for his score on American Sniper. His score for Judges won Best Soundtrack at the Miami International Sci-fi Film Festival. www.imdb.com/name/nm0213358/
As a composer for films and television, Joshua Moshier has established himself as a trusted collaborator and distinctive musical voice. Joshua's television work includes scoring the FX series Baskets, starring Zach Galifianakis; NBC's Shrink, created by Tim Baltz & Ted Tremper and streaming on Hulu; Sky One’s Sick of It from Richard Yee & Karl Pilkington, the Emmy-nominated Netflix series Special from Jim Parsons’ That’s Wonderful Productions, and the main title music for the Emmy-nominated IFC series Documentary Now! starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. On the feature film side, Joshua scored the Netflix film Happy Anniversary from writer/director Jared Stern, Good Enough from writer/director AnnaRose King, and Beneath Us from writer/director Max Pachman. Recent assignments include the upcoming Adult Swim series Three Busy Debras from director Anna Dokoza and Amy Poehler's Paper Kite Productions, and producing and arranging the main theme for HBO’s Pod Save America specials. In animation, Joshua’s work includes the upcoming HBO Max series Looney Tunes Cartoons; the DreamWorks series Dragons: Rescue Riders, and the viral animated hit Sidewalk, directed by Celia Bullwinkel. Joshua created the interactive ambisonic music for Google's Earth VR (available for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive), which won a Cannes Lion for innovation and was recognized by Ars Technica as "VR's killer app." Born in Baton Rouge, LA and raised in St. Charles, IL, Joshua studied music at Northwestern University. Throughout and after college, he delved deeply into the Chicago music scene, performing as a pianist with Marquis Hill, Chris Madsen, Milton Suggs, John Moulder and many others. In his own group co-led with Mike Lebrun, he released Joy Not Jaded and The Local Colorists, as well as his Chamber Music America commissioned work Touch and Go: The Studs Terkel Project. joshuamoshier.com
In a career spanning more than five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country’s treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Williams has received a variety of prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Olympic Order, and numerous Academy Awards, GRAMMY Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. He remains one of our nation’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices. Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films. His 45-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Munich, Hook, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Empire of the Sun, The Adventures of TinTin, War Horse, The BFG and Lincoln. Their latest collaboration, The Post, was released in December of 2017. Mr. Williams composed the scores for all nine Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone, Nixon, The Patriot, Angela’s Ashes, Seven Years in Tibet, The Witches of Eastwick, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Presumed Innocent, The Cowboys, The Reivers and Goodbye, Mr. Chips among many others. He has worked with many legendary directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler and Robert Altman. In 1971, he adapted the score for the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, for which he composed original violin cadenzas for renowned virtuoso Isaac Stern. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman, and others. Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and fifty-two Oscar nominations, making him the Academy’s most-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars. His most recent nomination was for the film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. He also has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty-five GRAMMYs, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records. Born and raised in New York, Mr. Williams moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948, where he studied composition with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, he returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist in nightclubs. He returned to Los Angeles and began his career in the film industry, working with a number of accomplished composers including Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for more than 200 television films for the groundbreaking, early anthology series Alcoa Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Chrysler Theatre and Playhouse 90. His more recent contributions to television music include the well-known theme for NBC Nightly News (“The Mission”), the theme for what has become network television’s longest-running series, NBC’s Meet the Press, and a new theme for the prestigious PBS arts showcase Great Performances. johnwilliams.org
Jeff Beal is an American composer of music for film, media, and the concert hall. With musical beginnings as a jazz trumpeter and recording artist, his works are infused with an understanding of rhythm and spontaneity. Steven Schneider for the New York Times wrote of "the richness of Beal's musical thinking...his compositions often capture the liveliness and unpredictability of the best improvisation.” Beal’s seven solo CDs, including Three Graces, Contemplations (Triloka) Red Shift (Koch Jazz), and Liberation (Island Records) established him as a respected recording artist and composer. Beal’s eclectic music has been singled out with critical acclaim and recognition. His score and theme for Netflix drama, House of Cards, has received five prime time Emmy Award nominations & two statues. Regarding his compelling score for the documentary, Blackfish, the late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Beal’s ability to “invoke many genres; thriller, mystery, melodrama.” Another lauded documentary, The Queen of Versailles, opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote that, “scored wittily by composer Jeff Beal, the film glides along on Beal's waltz theme, a theme full of elegance and class and a discordant hint of storm clouds.” Scoring Ed Harris’ beautifully balletic painting scenes in Pollock was an exceptional opportunity for Beal. Film critic for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote "To watch Lisa Rinzler's expressive shots of Harris as Pollock create his paintings, especially the famously acrobatic drip canvases, to Jeff Beal's Aaron Copland-influenced music is little short of thrilling." He has received nineteen prime time Emmy nominations for his music, and has won five statues. Other scores of note include his dramatic music for HBO’s acclaimed series Carnivale and Rome, as well as his comedic score and theme for the detective series, Monk. Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, records and mixes his own scores, which gives his music a very personal, distinctive touch. Beal’s commissioned works have been performed by many leading orchestras and conductors, including the St. Louis (Marin Alsop), Rochester, Pacific (Carl St. Clair), Frankfurt, Munich, and Detroit (Neeme Jaarvi) symphony orchestras. Kent Nagano commissioned and premiered two works, Alternate Route for trumpet and orchestra with Beal as soloist, and Interchange for string quartet and orchestra. Other commissions include the ballet Oasis for Smuin Ballet, Light Falls for the World Science Festival, The Metropole Orchestra, Ying String Quartet, Debussy Trio, Henry Mancini Institute, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington & GRAMMY winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. His score for Philip Haas' art installation Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons, was showcased at the Kimball Art Museum and the 2011 Venice Biennale. His first choral commission, entitled The Salvage Men, is written for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Current commissions include new works for The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a concerto for flutist Sharon Bezaly, song cycles for Cantus, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Beal's grandmother Irene was a pianist who performed on the radio and as accompanist for silent movies. She was an avid jazz fan, and gave him Miles Davis’/Gil Evans' Sketches of Spain album when he was beginning his trumpet studies. Beal graduated from the Eastman School of Music, where he was commencement speaker and honored alumnus in 2011. He now mentors and encourages young composers as a participant in the Sundance Film Composer seminars and as a guest lecturer at conservatories. Beal met his wife, soprano Joan Beal at Eastman School of Music where the couple recently donated $2 million to the creation of The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media. jeffbeal.com
Jerry Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor. He was an instrumental personality in Hollywood; his film scores helped him achieve exceptional popularity and success. Jerry Goldsmith was born on February 10, 1929 in Los Angeles, California. At the age of six, he started experimenting with the piano and at age thirteen, he would start taking lessons with the renowned Polish Pianist Jakob Gimpel. In 1945, Goldsmith started taking lessons with the Italian Composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who was famous for having trained musical legends, including John Williams and André Previn. Goldsmith furthered his musical education at the University of Southern California. There he met his idol, Miklos Rosa, who wrote the soundtrack to the film “Spellbound”. Goldsmith later studied at the Los Angeles City College, where he also worked as an assistant conductor. Goldsmith’s professional career started off when he was appointed as a clerk typist for CBS Network’s Music Director, Lud Gluskin. Soon, Goldsmith was writing scores for radio shows, including “CBS Radio Workshop”, “Romance”, and “Frontier Gentleman”. Goldsmith’s talents was noticed by CBS’s television department, and soon he was called upon to write scores for television series, including the highly popular “Twilight Zone”, “Playhouse 90” and “Climax!” After Goldsmith composed the score for NBC’s “Thriller”, American Composer Alfred Newman recommended Goldsmith to Universal Studios to write the score for the classic western film, “Lonely Are the Brave”. The score was so successful that Goldsmith was immediately commissioned to write the score for another Universal Studios film, “Freud: The Secret Passion”. His score for “Freud” was his first work to receive an Academy Award Nomination. Goldsmith then embarked on a collaborative project with director Franklin Schaffner to write the score for “The Stripper”. Goldsmith ended up writing the scores for most of Schaffner’s future films, including the highly famous “Planet of the Apes”, “Papillion”, “The Boys are from Brazil” and “Patton”. Goldsmith was also credited for his fantastic scores for war-movies. His 1965 score for “In Harm’s Way” and his 1967 score for the legendary naval war movie “The Sand Pebbles” are considered all time classics (“The Sand Pebbles” also awarded Goldsmith an Academy Award Nomination). He also wrote the score to the World War I themed movie “The Blue Max”. His score for the “Planet of the Apes” is also considered the first score ever to be composed in the adventurous avant-garde style, with the usage of looping drums and steel mixing bowls. He is also known for composing and recording the score for “Chinatown” in only ten days after the original composer’s (Phillip Lambro) score was rejected. Perhaps Goldsmith’s greatest and most recognized film score was his composition for the science fiction epic “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. He went on to compose plenty of scores for the Star Trek franchise, including “Star Trek: Nemesis” and the immensely popular television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Goldsmith’s last score was completed in 2003, and it was for “Looney Tunes: Back in Action”. In a career which spanned over fifty years, Goldsmith was nominated for the Academy Award eighteen times, the GRAMMY Award six times, and the Golden Globe Award four times. He also won an Oscar for his revolutionary score for “The Omen”. Jerry Goldsmith died on July 21, 2004, in Beverly Hills, California due to complications from Colon Cancer.
Irving Berlin, original name Israel Baline, (born May 11, 1888, Mogilyov, Russia [now in Belarus]—died Sept. 22, 1989, New York, N.Y., U.S.), American composer who played a leading role in the evolution of the popular song from the early ragtime and jazz eras through the golden age of musicals. His easy mastery of a wide range of song styles, for both stage and motion pictures, made him perhaps the greatest and most enduring of American songwriters. Israel was born to the family of a Jewish cantor that immigrated to New York City in 1893. His father died when the boy was eight years old. Having obtained only two years of formal education, he worked as a street singer and a singing waiter in New York’s Lower East Side. He began writing song lyrics, and his first published song, “Marie from Sunny Italy,” appeared in 1907; a printer’s error on this song named him Irving Berlin, a surname that he subsequently kept. Berlin continued his writing and within a few years was a successful “song plugger,” demonstrating new tunes. He was unable to read or write musical notation and learned music by ear instead. He began writing his own music as well as lyrics, and in 1911 he wrote what quickly became the preeminent hit of Tin Pan Alley’s ragtime vogue, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” His first ballad, “When I Lost You,” was written in 1912. Then he began contributing to numerous Broadway revues and musical entertainments, including Florenz Ziegfeld’s Follies. In 1919 he founded the Irving Berlin Music Corporation to publish his own music. Through the following decades Berlin wrote the scores for several musicals, one of his most popular being Annie Get Your Gun (1946; film, 1950). He wrote more than 800 songs, many of which became classics, including “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” “A Pretty Girl Is like a Melody,” “Always” (written in 1925 as a wedding present for his second wife), “Remember,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “Blue Skies,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” the patriotic standard “God Bless America,” “Heat Wave,” and “There’s No Business like Show Business.” In the era of big motion-picture musicals, Berlin was able to transfer his stage success to the screen, writing the scores for many successful films, including Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), Easter Parade (1948), Call Me Madam (1953), and White Christmas (1954). His score for the film Holiday Inn (1942) introduced the touching ballad “White Christmas,” which became one of the most popular songs ever recorded. Altogether Berlin wrote the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 motion pictures. [BRITTANICA]
Mark Isham is an electronic music innovator, jazz artist and prolific film composer. He traverses the musical landscape with unique performances and imaginative scores. As a musician, his trumpet sound is described as cool, avant-garde, sexy, haunting – even achingly beautiful. He has performed worldwide, and collaborated with celebrated artists in multiple genres. Mark Isham’s ability to create unforgettable melodies combined with his willingness to experiment with innovative musical palettes have earned him accolades including: GRAMMY and Emmy awards, and Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Mark Isham’s collaborators include many of the most respected names in film and music – Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Frank Darabont, John Ridley, Jodi Foster, Robert Altman, Sting, Wil.I.Am, Sydney Lumet, and Mick Jagger. Mark Isham’s signature sound is heard on albums of music icons including Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ziggy Marley, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Chris Isaak, and Van Morrison. Isham’s inimitable musical voice is evident in his memorable scores for award-winning features including the Oscar-winning Crash and A River Runs Through It, along with Golden Globe winning Bobby, and The Black Dahlia. For The Black Dahlia, Isham was awarded “Best Score” by the International Film Music Critics Association. Originally from New York City, Mark Isham was exposed to all types of music through his parents who were musicians. The young Isham studied piano and violin, but the trumpet captured his imagination and became his signature instrument. The Ishams moved from NYC to San Francisco, and by the age 15 Mark Isham was playing in jazz clubs, simultaneously performing with Oakland and San Francisco symphonies. He ultimately formed his own band Group 87. isham.com
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