Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Great Ones

Earlier this spring we paid homage to two great artists who passed on--Lena Horne and Giuseppe Taddei. Once again, it is with an even greater sense of loss that I am compelled to comment on the passing of two more "Great Ones"--Giulietta Simionato and Benny Powell.

Simionato was the greatest Italian mezzo-soprano of her era. She passed at age 99. For more than seventy five years after her debut, Simionato still remained fresh and modern and natural
in every measure.

Benny was one of the Jazz industry's finest trombonists. He was 80 years old at passing.
We had the shared experience of being on faculty at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. I witnessed his caring for and mentoring a young gifted trombonist with whom we both
shared a special friendship.

It is artists of the caliber of Benny Powell and Giulietta Simionato who inspire the best in us and, because I live in both worlds of opera and jazz, their contributions effected my judgement and artistic presentation.

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