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Encyclopedia > Luther Henderson

Luther Henderson (1919 - 2003) was an arranger, composer and orchestrator. He was educated at the Juilliard School of Music where he received a B.S. in 1942. Among the more than fifty Broadway musicals where he served as orchestrator, arranger and/or musical director for are Ain't Misbehavin' and Jelly's Last Jam. He was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1992, collaborating on music with 'Jelly Roll Morton' and with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, as Best Score (Musical) for "Jelly's Last Jam;" and in 1997 for Best Orchestrations for "Play On!". Of his earlier works, he composed the orchestrations for the dance numbers for the original broadway production of "Flower Drum Song" by Jule Styne and Richard Rogers. He adapted the music of Thomas "Fats" Waller for the original broadway production of "Ain't Misbehavin'" and served as the music director. Early in his career he was a staff orchestrator for The U. S. Navy School of Music, Washington, D. C. from 1944-46. His longest association was with The Canadian Brass for whom he arranged over 100 songs. He also served as orchestrator for Duke Ellington's orchestral works. Some of Henderson's last artistic recognitions included the Pioneer Award that he along with his director-actress wife Billie Allen won at the Audelco "VIV" Awards in November, 2002. He also received a posthumous Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004. 1919 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... For the use of the term orchestration in computer science, see orchestration (computers) Orchestration or arrangement is the study and practice of arranging music for an orchestra or musical ensemble. ... The Juilliard School is a performing arts conservatory in New York City, informally but definitively identified as simply Juilliard, and most famous for its musically-trained alumni. ... 1942 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article is about the street in New York City. ... The art of singing and dancing in a prepared fictional play has been a time-honored tradition ranging to the early days of civilization. ... Aint Misbehavin is a song by Fats Waller, dating from 1929. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award® (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater. ... 1992 is a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... Edward Kennedy Duke Ellington (Born: April 29, 1899 in Washington, DC – Died: May 24, 1974 in New York City) was an American jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. ... The EFF Pioneer Award is an annual prize for people who have made significant contributions to the empowerment of individuals in using computers. ... November is the eleventh month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with the length of 30 days. ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Endowment for the Arts is a United States federally funded program that offers support and funding for projects that exhibit artistic excellence. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Awards and Recognition

Tony Award for Best Original Score 
  • 1992 Nomination, Jelly's Last Jam by Jelly Roll Morton (music), Luther Henderson (music), and Susan Birkenhead (lyrics)
Tony Award for Best Orchestrations 
  • 1997 Nomination, Play On! by Duke Ellington (music), Luther Henderson (music), and Cheryl L. West (book)

  Results from FactBites:
African American Registry: An orchestra's best friend, Luther Henderson! (533 words)
Henderson's parents were both teachers and both were musical.
Henderson also recorded six albums for Columbia Records as leader of the Luther Henderson Orchestra.
Luther Henderson died on July 29, 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
  More results at FactBites »



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