Lynn Singleton joined the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) as President in 1983, transforming it from near bankruptcy to one of the premier not-for-profit theatres in North America. Over his tenure, PPAC’s number of events has more than tripled, and attendance has increased to over 350,000 patrons annually, accumulating a $50 million reserve from retained
Tag: Music (Singers, Composers)
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones (“Black Patti”) 1869-1933, was a famous concert singer of the 19th century. After becoming the the first African-American artist to perform at the Wallack’s Theatre in New York, she toured South America, Europe and Canada. Known as “the Black Patti,” after Italian diva Adelina Patti, Ms. Jones performed in Madison Square
Arthur “Artie” Cabral is a prominent drummer on the national and regional music scene whose first professional music job came at the age of 13. Artie has also served as president of the Providence Federation of Musicians, AFM 198-457, for the past eighteen years and has just been elected to another two-year term.
Prolific stage, screen, and radio star Nelson Eddy was born June 29, 1901, in Providence, Rhode Island, to parents William D. Eddy and Caroline I. Kendrick. His father worked as a toolmaker, part-time stagehand at the Providence Opera House, and choir singer, while his mother was a soloist in the church choir. Eddy’s maternal grandmother,
John William Middendorf II of Little Compton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 22, 1924. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in naval science after having served in World War II as an engineering officer and navigator aboard LCS 53. He then earned an A.B.
Alexander Peloquin, 1918-1997, was a composer, choir director, concert organist and lituriologist. For 23 years, Peloquin served as the leader of the famed choral group which bears his name. He also served for many years as music director at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul and choral conductor at Boston College.
Bobby (Robert) Leo Hackett (January 31, 1915 – June 7, 1976) was born in Providence, the seventh of nine children to William (a blacksmith) and Rose Hackett. He was a popular American jazz musician who played trumpet, cornet, and guitar with Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman in the late 1930s and early 1940s. As a
Bowen R. Church 1860-1923, founder of The American Band of Providence, one of the great symphonic brass bands of the late 19th century. Compared often with the U.S. Marine Band of John Philip Sousa, it was led by one of America’s foremost conductors, David Wallis Reeves. The band was accorded even more acclaim for its
Jeffrey Osborne is a well-known funk R&B musician, singer-songwriter, lyricist and lead singer of the band, L.T.D.. Born in Providence to a musical family, (father Clarence “Legs” Osborne, was a popular trumpeter who played with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington), he began his professional career in 1970 with a band called Love Men
Jean (Browning) Madeira, 1918-1972, sang as contralto diva of the Metropolitan Opera. She gained world renown for her performances in the role of Carmen and starred in the Munich, Salzburg, and Bayreath Festivals. She sang leading roles at LaScala, San Carlo, Vienna, Convent Garden, the Stockholm and Paris Operas, and was sensational as Delilah at
David McKenna was an internationally knonw swing jazz pianist from Woonsocket. Though his entire family was musical, David was largely self taught listening to the radio and to recordings by his favorites Nat King Cole and Teddy Wilson. At the age of twelve, he first began play for local weddings and dances. At fifteen, he
Julliard-trained conductor Francis Madeira founded the Rhode Island Philharmonic in 1945 and led it for thirty-three (33) years. Madeira moved to Providence in 1943 to serve as interim director of orchestras at Brown University. Upon discovering that Rhode Island lacked a professional orchestra, he proceeded to round up thirty-one (31) musicians and organized a chamber
A native son of Rhode Island, Eddie Zack (1922-2002), was was an American country music artist primarily known for his appearances on various radio shows. His career began at the age of 16 singing with his brother Richie (known professional as “Cousin Richie”).In 1939 the two brothers formed a band called Eddie Zack and the
Frankie Carle, 1903-2001, a native of Providence who became world famous as a pianist and composer, began studying the piano at the age of 5, and wrote his first song at age 13. He was the author of “Sunrise Serenade”, “Falling Leaves”, and “Lover’s Lullaby”. Born Francis Nunzio Carlone on March 25, 1903 to a
Maria Spacagna, formerly of Providence and now living in East Greenwich, distinguished soprano and a regular guest of leading opera companies throughout the world whose many prominent recordings have earned critical acclaim. A noted performer of the role of Madame Butterfly, she is the first American-born artist to interpret the role at the famed La
Friend Friendly, 1915-1998, was a radio pioneer and executive, and a prime mover in the early development of Providence radio station WEAN. He became a professor of Journalism at Columbia University and broadcast advisor to the Ford Foundation. The broadcast newsroom at Columbia University’s School of Journalism is named for Friendly, as is a professorship
Mr. Leonard, formerly of Providence before relocating to California, was for more than 40 years an internationally renowned musician and teacher of music. He was Principle Cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and professor of Cello at the University of Southern California. He previously performed with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic, and
Throughout Eileen Farrell’s remarkable life, she always possessed two attributes- a big, irreverent attitude and an even bigger voice. When the first threatened to hold her back, the latter always rescued her – guaranteeing her success in the competitive world of professional singing. Primarily an opera singer, she was always uneasy with what she perceived
Joseph J. Lilley, 1913-1971, a native of Providence, was the Musical Director for the famed Paramount Studios who later worked on some of Hollywood’s greatest musical films including “White Christmas,” “Paint your Wagon,” and “Anything Goes.” During a career which spanned the era of big bands, radio, and movies, while working for both CBS and
Dr. Raymond T. Jackson, originally of Providence, is an accomplished concert pianist and graduate of the Julliard School of Music. Noted for bringing the music of African-American composers to the concert stage. He has compiled a three-volume anthology containing works by two dozen African-American composers dating back to the early 1800s. He has held positions
The late Frederick M. McKinnon, a native of Pawtucket, was considered the father of youth soccer in Rhode Island. He was an elementary school teacher in the Pawtucket School System for thirty years, and Acting Director and Supervisor of the Pawtucket Recreation Department for 34 years. He is widely recognized for his contributions to youth
A life-size bronze statue of George M. Cohan, called the greatest single figure the American theatre ever produced as a playwright, actor, composer, lyricist, singer, dancer, and theatrical producer, sits on the corner of Wickenden and Governor streets in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence. A plaque on the front of the base is inscribed:
George T. Wein, of New York City, was the internationally acclaimed creator of the jazz festival concept. He started the first all-jazz festival in Newport in 1954, and his company, Festival Productions, produced more than 1000 annual events throughout the world. As a result of his contributions to jazz and world culture, he has been
A Serbian American, Dr. Mark Malkovich was born in Eveleth, Minnesota, a mining town north of Duluth in 1930. He played the clarinet as a child, but the piano became his primary instrument. Beginning his study of the piano at fifteen years of age, he eventually tutored under Adele Marcus at New York City’s Juilliard
Mr. Arlan Coolidge, a Providence resident, was an internationally renowned violinist and a graduate of Brown University. He and served as Chairman of Brown’s Department of Music for thirty-one years, served as Executive Director of the Arts Rhode Island, and as Chairman of several Governor’s Commissions on fine arts. He was also involved with the
Eben Tourjée (1834-1891) is regarded as an American pioneer in the establishment of music schools and conservatories–an effort crowned by his founding of the world famous New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1867. Tourjée was born in Warwick in 1834 of French Huguenot lineage that could be traced to East Greenwich’s Frenchtown settlement
Dr. Joseph Conte was a renowned music director who had a long and eventful career as a concertmaster, conductor, bandmaster, violinist, and teacher. He was concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for twenty-one years. Conte was the founder and conducted The Young People’s Symphony of Rhode Island for sixteen years. He also served as
Randall C. (“Randy”) Hien, 1949-2006, became legendary in Rhode Island for his remarkable accomplishments in two fields. As one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state, he devoted himself tirelessly to Rhode Island youth sports for thirty years. During that time, he transformed his beloved Lincoln Little League All-Stars into a nationally-competitive powerhouse,
The late Pearce Johnson was one of Rhode Island’s most proficient organizers who became a top executive in USO, producing and directing 125 USO shows as supervisor and President of Providence-Narragansett Bay USO, and a member of the USO National Council. He was awarded by the USO for thirty-five years of distinguished service. He also
Caroline Hazard, educator, philanthropist, artist, and author was born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, on June 10, 1856. She was the second of five children of industrialist Rowland Hazard II and Margaret A. (Rood) Hazard of Peace Dale. Caroline grew up with all the privileges her prominent family could afford – private tutors, European vacations,
Jimmie Crane, 1920-1988, was a noted songwriter and musician who was born Loreto Domenico Fraieli on Federal Hill in Providnce. He was urged to change his name as his musical group, The Hawaiians, became well-known on the radio. Many of his songs were performed by famous singers and bands.
Mike Renzi, a master American pianist, arranger, and musical director, was raised in Providence and started piano lessons at the age of eight; the style was classical. Soon he added popular music in the style known as “the American songbook,” consisting of the compositions of such artists as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer.