|April 5, 2009|
Dick Hyman performed in concert at Ithaca College on April 5, 2009. He spoke on film scoring in symposium and gave an informal talk for career orientation. He is famous for embracing so many styles of music, so enthusiastically, that he is sometimes known as a “musical chameleon.” As he puts it "when I was lucky enough to become a studio player, I was known for versatility." He has been known to replicate piano giants like Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Teddy Wilson, and Art Tatum. He has performed with, as house pianist at Birdland, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. He has lived life in the company of legends of jazz, swinging with Benny Goodman, Roy Elbridge and Zoot Sims.
He has been invited to perform at the White house by Clinton, Bush, and Carter. He has seven "Most Valuable Player Awards" from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. His versatility is evident by the diversity of the performers with whom he has recorded: Tony Bennet, Perry Como, La Vern Baker, Marvin Rainwater, and many more; and in his diverse musical skills: as nightclub player, a session man, musical director for television, soundtrack pianist for film (The Godfather, the Wiz, The Night They Raided Minsky's), conductor, arranger, and composer of scores for film ( Moonstruck, Billy Bathgate, Scott Joplin King of Ragtime), organist, and in 1968, on the Billboard top 40 for a single, "The Minotaur" from an album featuring him on Moog Synthesizer.
He took piano lessons from Swing Era legend Teddy Wilson, sat in with James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith at Manhattan night clubs when he was still at student at Columbia University, and dropped in to hear Eddie Condon at Jimmy Ryan’s on 52nd Street even before he graduated from high school.-excerpted from Riverwalk Jazz, http://www.riverwalkjazz.org
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