December 26, 1954|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 19, 1994|
|Genres||Smooth jazz, post-disco|
|Labels||United Artists, Liberty|
Pointer made his solo debut at the age of 13, performing Vivaldi with the Symphony of the New World, followed by guest solo appearances with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
He began playing jazz on the violin while a student at The High School of Music and Art in New York City. While attending college at Manhattan School of Music, Pointer earned a reputation as a session musician. By age 19, his experience as a freelance musician included the Apollo Theater Orchestra, the Unlimited Orchestra, the Westbury Music Fair Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Symphony, the Love Unlimited Orchestra (US Tour), the Dance Theater of Harlem Orchestra, the Symphony of the New World, and the pit orchestras of several Broadway shows, including Guys and Dolls and Dreamgirls.
From 1977 to 1981, Pointer recorded seven solo albums, four of which reached the top five jazz albums listed on the Billboard jazz chart. His debut album, Phantazia, went platinum and won the No.1 New Male Jazz Act award in Record World magazine. He was the guest soloist on Milira's Mercy, Mercy, Me (The Ecology) and Dianne Reeves's The Tracks of My Tears. His albums All My Reasons (1981) and Direct Hit (1982) were nominated for Grammy Awards. He also wrote music for the Joyce Trisler Danscompany and the Inner City Ensemble Theater and Dance Company.
Pointer's reputation as a jazz musician and literary advocate garnered him honorary citizenship in cities across the United States. He received special citations from the United States Congress, the US Congressional Black Caucus, and the African National Congress (ANC). He served as a music advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the United States Information Agency (USIA) and was among the youngest people to have held those positions. In 1992 he founded the National Movement for the Preservation of the Sacred African Burial Grounds of New York City.
Pointer was married to Chinita and had two daughters and a son; he lived in Brooklyn.
After his death, Chinita Pointer founded the Noel Pointer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing string music education to inner-city students, which is located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
- 1977: Phantazia
- 1978: Hold On
- 1979: Feel It
- 1980: Calling
- 1981: All My Reasons
- 1982: Direct Hit
- 1993: Never Lose Your Heart
- 1977: "Living for the City"
- 1978: "Spacedust Lady"
- 1979: "For You (A Disco Concerto) Part 1" / "For You (A Disco Concerto) Part 2"
- 1981: "Classy Lady"
- 1981: "All the Reasons Why" (released in the Philippines)
- 1981: "East St. Louie Melody" (released in the Philippines)
- 1982: "Direct Hit"
- "Noel Pointer, 40: Jazz violinist, composer". The Day. Associated Press. December 21, 1994. p. 8.
- "Noel Pointer, 39, Classical Violinist Turned Jazz Artist". The New York Times. December 24, 1994.
- "Jazz violinist Noel Pointer dies in New York". Jet. January 16, 1995. (subscription required)
- Noel Pointer Foundation "About Us" http://www.noelpointer.org/#!about-us/c1x1t