Ignacio Jacinto Villa Fernández (1911-1971)

Composer, master pianist Ignacio Jacinto Villa Fernández, known by the stage name Bola de Nieve, was born Ignacio Jacinto Villa Fernández on September 11, 1911, in Guanabacoa, Cuba, to Domingo Villa, a chef, and Inés Fernández, a professional rumba dancer. The couple had 12 children. … Read MoreIgnacio Jacinto Villa Fernández (1911-1971)

The Gap Band (1974-2010)

The Gap Band was an R&B and Funk band founded in 1967 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and comprised the multi-instrumentalists Wilson brothers Charlie: Lead vocals, piano, synthesizer, organ, drums; Ronnie: vocal, trumpet, piano, percussion, songwriter; and Robert (1956-2010): vocal, bass, guitar, and percussion. They emerged as … Read MoreThe Gap Band (1974-2010)

Carmen Velma Shepperd (1910-1997)

Classical pianist, mezzo-soprano, pedagogic Carmen Velma Shepperd was born on October 30, 1910, in Mona Heights, Kingston, Jamaica, to David N. Shepperd and Theresa Ann Rodriquez Shepperd, a music school administrator and seamstress, respectively. However, she was reared in New York City where she attended … Read MoreCarmen Velma Shepperd (1910-1997)

The Ohio Players (1959-1980)

The Ohio Players who first called themselves the Ohio Untouchables, was a pioneering vocal and instrumental funk ensemble out of Dayton, Ohio. Established in 1959, the group comprised its organizer, pianist/principal vocalist Walter Morrison, trumpeters Bruce Napier and Marvin Pierce, vocalist/bass player Marshall Jones, saxophonist/guitarist … Read MoreThe Ohio Players (1959-1980)

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (1954-1972)

On June 25, 1939, lyricist, arranger, and choreographer Harold Melvin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A self-taught pianist, as a teenager in 1953, Melvin began singing doo-wop with a vocal ensemble called the Charlemagnes. The following year, 1954, he established a quintet, the Blue Notes … Read MoreHarold Melvin & the Blue Notes (1954-1972)