Noel Pointer

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Noel Pointer
Birth name Noel Pointer
Born December 26, 1954
Brooklyn, NY
Origin United States
Died December 19, 1994 (aged 39)
Genres Smooth jazz, post-disco
Years active 1967–1994
Labels UA, Liberty
Notable instruments

Noel Pointer (December 26, 1954 – December 19, 1994) was an American jazz violinist and record producer.


Pointer made his solo debut at the age of 13, performing Vivaldi with the Symphony of the New World,[1][2] 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 New York City's High School of Music and Art. While attending college at Manhattan School of Music, Pointer earned a reputation as a New York session musician. By age 19, his experience as a free-lance musician had included steady work in 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.[3]

From 1977 to 1981, Pointer had recorded seven solo albums, four of which reached the top five jazz albums listed on Billboard's jazz charts. His debut album Phantazia went platinum[1] and won him the #1 New Male Jazz Act award in Record World magazine, along with several other top awards in trade publications, including Down Beat magazine. He also was the guest soloist on Milira's Mercy, Mercy, Me (The Ecology) and Dianne Reeves' The Tracks of My Tears. His albums All My Reasons (1981) and Direct Hit (1982) were nominated for Grammy Awards.[1][2] He also wrote music for a number of dance groups, including the Joyce Trisler Danscompany and the Inner City Ensemble Theater and Dance Company.[2]

Pointer's reputation as an outstanding 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, the African National Congress (ANC), and numerous other civic and private organizations. He served as a music advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the United States Information Agency (USIA), among the youngest people to have held those positions.[2][3] In 1992 he founded the National Movement for the Preservation of the Sacred African Burial Grounds of New York City.[2]

He resurfaced in 1993 on Never Lose Your Heart, which turned out to be his final album; he died of a stroke on December 19, 1994, at age 39.[1][3]

Personal life[edit]

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, NY.[4]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 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, and considered his biggest solo hit in the country)
  • 1982: "Direct Hit"


External links[edit]