John Garvey (musician)

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John Garvey
Birth nameJohn Charles Garvey
Born(1921-03-17)March 17, 1921
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
DiedJuly 18, 2006(2006-07-18) (aged 85)
Silver Spring, Maryland,[1] U.S.A.
GenresChamber Music, Jazz, Russian Folk Music
Occupation(s)Musician, academic
InstrumentsViola
Years active1940s–1990s

John Garvey (March 17, 1921[2] - July 18, 2006[3]) was an American musician, orchestra leader, and academic who played viola in the Walden String Quartet for 23 seasons, introduced a jazz curriculum at the University of Illinois, and created its Jazz Big Band which he led until his retirement from the university in 1991. The jazz band dominated collegiate jazz festival awards in its early days and in 1969 was chosen by the state department to tour the USSR and Eastern Europe. Many members of Garvey's jazz bands went on to successful careers as professional musicians and academics.

Early years[edit]

Inspired by a talk given by the violinist of the Chautauqua Trio, Garvey began studying violin at age 7. By 14 he was commuting from his home in Reading, PA every other week to Temple University in Philadelphia to study violin with Alfred Lorenz,[4] a violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra[5] He went on to major in music at Temple.[6]

As a Jobbing Musician[edit]

After college Garvey played with the Philadelphia Symphony and Columbus Philharmonic. In March 1943, Garvey joined a dance band that played pop-styled classical music led by a classically trained violinist named Jan Savitt, "The Stokowski of Swing".[7][8] In the summer of 1948 he was director of the summer chamber music program at Ball State University.[6]

Academia[edit]

In 1948, Garvey joined the Walden String Quartet[6] in an until-then frequently changing viola chair. He was to remain with the quartet until 1971. The group had recently become quartet-in-residence at the University of Illinois.[9][10] In addition to touring and recording, the Quartet were members of the music faculty. Garvey was hired as Instructor in the department[11] and within a few years was promoted to Assistant Professor.[12] In May 1952, Garvey became head of the music committee of the university’s Festival of Contemporary Arts.[13][14] In 1959, he was made a full professor.[15]

The University Jazz Program[edit]

Work with Harry Partch on "The Bewitched", a music and dance piece for the 1957 festival, rekindled Garvey's interest in jazz,[14]: 281 [16] and for the 1959 festival he invited the Modern Jazz Quartet to play with a student jazz band and a string ensemble.[14]: 281 [17]

Because of student interest in continuing the jazz band, Garvey sought funding from the School of Music, but faced strong opposition.[14] By October 1960 he was able to get $150 from the school, and obtained additional money and administrative support from the student union.[18] Garvey and the band made their debut at a routine Thursday morning School of Music function on December 8, 1960.[14]: 283  In April 1964, they entered the Collegiate Jazz Festival at Notre Dame University[19] for the first time and took the prize for Best Big Band.

In 1965 and 1966, they were finalists at the festival.[20] and in March 1967, the band won Best Overall Jazz Group.[21] In December 1967, Garvey's band was officially sanctioned by the School of Music.[14]: 285 

In 1968, and 1969 they again won "Best Overall Jazz Group", the first ensemble to do so three years in a row. The prize at the 1968 and 1969 festivals was an invitation to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival,[22] for which they received praise from critics Leonard Feather[23] and John S. Wilson.[24]

The 1969 Downbeat Readers Poll ranked the band 16th place in the jazz Big Band category, the only college band in the entire poll.[14]: 285 

The accolades led to sponsorship by the US State Department for an eight-week tour of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia in 1968 [25] , and a six-week tour of the Soviet Union in 1969.[26]

By 1970 the School of Music was sponsor of four jazz bands.[14]: 285 

Many alumni of Garvey's bands went on to successful careers as musicians and teachers, including Cecil Bridgewater, Dee Dee Bridgewater,[27] Jim McNeely, Ron Dewar, Joel Helleny, and Howie Smith.

The Russian Folk Orchestra[edit]

During the tour of the U.S.S.R., Garvey became interested in Russian folk music. Upon returning he found funds through the university to purchase 25 balalaikas, and in 1973 formed the Russian Balalaika Orchestra ,[28] soon to be renamed the Russian Folk Orchestra. Garvey led this ensemble for over a decade, touring the U.S and abroad.[29]

Sound Recordings[edit]

  • Zoltan Kodaly Quartet No 2, Op. 10/Karol Syzmanowski Quartet in C Major, Op 37. The Walden Quartet of the University of Illinois. Lyrichord LP LL 22, 1951. LP, OCLC 28007974
  • William Bergsma: String Quartet No. 2. Arthur Shepherd: Triptych for Soprano and String Quartet. Performed By the Walden String Quartet of the University of Illinois. With Marie Kraft, Soprano. American Recording Society ARS-18, 1952.[30]
  • Ernest Bloch: Quintet for Piano and Strings. Johana Harris and The Walden String Quartet. MGM Records E3239, 1955. LP, OCLC 3528792[31]
  • The Walden Quartet of the University of Illinois, Elliott Carter String Quartet No. 1, Columbia Masterworks ML 5104, 1956, LP, OCLC 2100491.
  • Harry Partch: The Bewitched. Recording of first performance at Festival of Contemporary Arts March 26, 1957. Originally released on Partch's own label: Gate 5 Records HP-101 5701.[32]
  • Andrew Imbrie, The California String Quartet, The Walden String Quartet – String Quartets 2 And 3, Contemporary Records C6003, 1958.[33]
  • The Walden String Quartet, "Charles Ives: Second String Quartet", Folkways FM 3369, 1966.[34]
  • Walter Piston / Alan Hovhaness - Earl Wild, The Walden String Quartet / William Masselos, Izler Solomon – Quintet For Piano & Strings / Khaldis: Concerto For Piano, Four Trumpets & Percussion, Heliodor HS-25027, 1966.[35]
  • Salvatore Martirano, L's GA - Ballad - Octet , Polydor 24-5001, 1968, LP, OCLC 4669880, Discogs 4489246.
  • Orchestra De Jazz A Universitatii Din Illinois, Electrecords EDD 1224, 1968, LP.
  • The University Of Illinois Jazz Band In Champaign-Urbana, Century Records, 1968, LP, OCLC 11069493.
  • The University Of Illinois Jazz Band In Champaign-Urbana, Century Records, 1968, LP, OCLC 11069493.
  • University of Illinois Jazz Band - T-Bird 1968-12-17, amateur live recording, 1968, multiple formats.[36]
  • Dixielandová skupina Big bandu University of Illinois USA - Praha 1968, videorecording.[25]
  • The University of Illinois Jazz Band in Stockholm, Sweden, Century Records, 1969, LP, OCLC 24483234.
  • The University of Illinois Jazz Band and Dixie Band, Century Records, 1969, LP, OCLC 11069451.
  • The University of Illinois Jazz Band with Don Smith, Mark Custom Recording Service MC 2944, 1970, LP, OCLC 17211237.
  • The University of Illinois Jazz Band and the Hot 7 at CJF, Mark Custom Recording Service, 1970, LP, OCLC 7440049.
  • The University of Illinois Jazz Band, John Garvey, conductor, presents the Big Wide World of Jazz, Golden Crest Records CRS 4161, 1977, LP, OCLC 405375.
  • Closeout, Dancing Bear Records, 1982, LP, OCLC 19115091

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Garvey Memorial Celebration Held on Campus" (PDF). Sonorities: 4. Spring 2007. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  2. ^ "John Garvey Music and Papers, The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music". University of Illinois Archive Holdings Database. University of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  3. ^ "Former music professor championed jazz studies at UI". The News-Gazette. Champaign, Illinois. August 3, 2006. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  4. ^ "Musical Talent Plentiful In Two Reading Families". Reading Eagle. Reading, Pennsylvania. December 23, 1936. pg 2, cols 6-8. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  5. ^ Huffman, Larry. "Principal Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra – Alfred Lorenz". The Stokowski Legacy (www.stokowski.org). Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  6. ^ a b c "Beethoven, Haydn, Season Starters for Waldens". The Daily Illini. Champaign, Illinois. September 28, 1948. pg 5, col 4. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  7. ^ "David Garvey Presents Recital in Virginia". Reading Eagle. Reading, Pennsylvania. August 19, 1943. pg 3, col 2. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  8. ^ "ON THE STAND". The Billboard. 56 (28). p.17, col 2. July 8, 1944. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  9. ^ "Ridenour New Dean of Graduate School – Kuypers Named as Director of UI Music Department. By Board of Trustees". The Daily Illini. Champaign, Illinois. May 28, 1947. pg 1, cols 1-2. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  10. ^ "Walden String Quartet". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  11. ^ Directory, Faculty and Students, 1948–1949. Urbana, Illinois: The University of Illinois Press. October 1948. p. 106. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  12. ^ Directory, Staff and Students, 1951–1952. Urbana, Illinois: The University of Illinois Press. p. 132. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  13. ^ "GARVEY HEADS COMMITTEE". The Daily Illini. Champaign, Illinois. May 27, 1952. pg 6, col 3. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Harrison, Albert Dale (1986). A History of the University of Illinois School of Music, 1940–1970. Ed.D. Thesis, University of Illinois. pp. 281–285. ProQuest 303485936.
  15. ^ Transactions of the Board of Trustees, July 1, 1958 to June 30, 1960 (PDF). University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 1960. p. 696.
  16. ^ "The "Boo", or Bamboo". The Daily Illini. Champaign, IL. March 19, 1957. pg 1, col 2. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  17. ^ "U. OF I. TO GIVE JAZZ PLACE IN ARTS FESTIVAL". The Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago, IL. February 22, 1959. pg 32, col 4. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  18. ^ "Union Board Agrees to Cosponsor Jazz Program with School of Music". The Daily Illini. Champaign, IL. October 19, 1960. pg 12, col 4-5. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  19. ^ "Collegiate Jazz Festival 1964 Program" (PDF). South Bend, IN. April 1964. pg 8. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  20. ^ "Collegiate Jazz Festival 1967 Program" (PDF). South Bend, IN. March 1967. pg 12. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  21. ^ "Collegiate Jazz Festival 1968 Program" (PDF). South Bend, IN. March 1968. pg 16. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  22. ^ "University Band Captures Ten Awards at Notre Dame Fest". The Daily Illini. Champaign, IL. March 19, 1969. pg 3 col 4. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  23. ^ Leonard Feather (July 13, 1968). "Jazz Fest Amateurs Top Pros". The Austin Statesman. Austin,TX. pg 18, col 1. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  24. ^ John S. Wilson (July 8, 1968). "It's Newcomers Day at Newport". The New York Times. New York, NY. pg 47, col 1. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  25. ^ a b "Dixielandová skupina Big bandu University of Illinois USA - Praha 1968". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  26. ^ "U. of I. Jazz Group to Tour Soviet Union". The Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL. November 1, 1969. pg 6 col 3-4. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  27. ^ Thomas, Jo (September 22, 1998). "A Singer Is Returning to a Stage Where It All Began". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  28. ^ "Garvey, Inspired by Trip to Russia, Forms Balalaika Band". The Daily Illini. Champaign, IL. December 6, 1973. pg 18, col 1-3, p20 col 1-2. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  29. ^ "Garvey, John (1921–2006)". University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  30. ^ "William Bergsma - Walden String Quartet Of The University Of Illinois* / Arthur Shepherd (2) - Marie Kraft, Walden String Quartet Of The University Of Illinois* - String Quartet #2 / Triptych For Soprano And String Quartet".
  31. ^ "Ernest Bloch / Johana Harris And The Walden String Quartet - Quintet For Piano And Strings".
  32. ^ "Harry Partch - The Bewitched".
  33. ^ "Andrew Imbrie, The California String Quartet, The Walden String Quartet - String Quartets 2 And 3".
  34. ^ Charles Ives & Alan Hovhaness (PDF). Folkways Records. 1966. FM 3369. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  35. ^ "Walter Piston / Alan Hovhaness - Earl Wild, The Walden String Quartet / William Masselos, Chamber Ensemble*, Izler Solomon - Quintet For Piano & Strings / Khaldis: Concerto For Piano, Four Trumpets & Percussion".
  36. ^ University of Illinois Jazz Band - T-Bird 1968-12-17. Internet Archive. 1968. Retrieved 2017-01-16.

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