Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Carroll, Baikida (E. J. Carroll)

Carroll, Baikida [E. J. Carroll], trumpet, flugelhorn, composer; b. St. Louis, Missouri, 15 January 1947. the son of  Dorthy Ruth Criner and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Harris, who played locally with Grant Green, Jimmy Forrest and Edgar Bateman. He has a sister Rita and a brother Bennie. His daughters are Jade, Tammy and Felicia. His grandchildren are Pepsi, Chris, John and Erica. His great grandchildren are Londen, Kaileigh, Leslie and Laren.

Baikida has written scores that have distinguished theater, dance, television, film, and concerts for over four decades. His music has been heard at major forums throughout the world including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Walker Arts Center, The New York and Washington. D.C. Shakespeare Festivals, the McCarter Theatre, the Chicago Museum of Art, The Mark Taper Forum, Le Grande Palais (Paris), the Belgium Opera, the Berlin Opera, the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa), as well as a multitude of jazz festivals including JVC, Heritage, Montreux, Kool and Newport.

Baikida spent his teen years playing in the high school band along with members such as Donny Hathaway and Raiford Hicks as well as the All-City Jazz ensemble with Lester Bowie, J.D. Parran and James Jabbo Ware and the All-City Orchestra. He studied with  O'Hare Spearman (1962), Vernon, Nashville (1963-65), Chief Kit (1966), Wurzburg Conservatory  (1967), and Southern Illinois University (1969-1972). He also studied with Oliver Nelson, Washington University, St. Louis , Mo.(1970).

In 1965, he enlisted in the Army  where he excelled and was awarded music composition honors in the Armed Forces School of Music. Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division USAREUR band, he found himself performing everything from classical and parade music to situation bugle calls.  It was during his military service that Baikida became devoted to improvisational music, the impetus being an assignment to organize, lead, conduct and write arrangements for a 21-piece rehearsal jazz ensemble. The Third Infantry Division Free Ensemble. This corresponded with his recent discovery of the music of John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and John Cage. During his tour of duty Baikida also toured with the USO Marne Division Showcase where he backed acts like Jane Mansfield and Georgie  Jessel. Baikida also led his own jazz quintet during this period.

In 1968, Baikida returned to St. Louis and performed with several local bands including those of Albert King, Little Milton, Fontella Bass, Ike and Tina Turner and Oliver Sain. These bands, of which he had played with prior to the army, but after his revelations with the Avant Gard, he realized his desire for a more improvisational form of music. That same year he was approached, while practicing in the park, by Julius Hemphill to join the newly formed Black Artist Group (BAG), a multimedia art cooperative. Although eventually he became the orchestra conductor as well as theory and trumpet instructor, initially he performed as an actor with the TSOCC Players, directed by Vincent Terrell. He also attended Southern Illinois University, and took summer master classes in music at Washington University under the direction of Oliver Nelson, with guest instructors such as Thad Jones, Ron Carter, Mel Lewis, Phil Woods and Roland Hanna between 1968 and 1972. During this period Baikida worked with Katherine Dunham and wrote arrangements for the East St. Louis based The Young Disciples. An organization designed to instruct teens in their endeavor of commercial music.

In 1972, Baikida, Oliver Lake, Joseph Bowie, Floyd Leflore and Charles "Bobo" Shaw ventured to Paris, France, to seek broader performing opportunities. One of their first concerts was at the Grande Palais. The ensemble performed and was celebrated throughout Europe for a year. After its conclusion, Oliver and Baikida continued performing as a duo for an additional year.

In 1973, Baikida formed his own band and worked around Paris. He also taught trumpet and music theory at the American Center for Students and Artists, and performed with Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Alan Silva, Dr. John, Alan Toussaint and several other musicians throughout Europe. 1974 June 1975 saw Baikida's return to New York City, where he reunited with Julius Hemphill and performed with friends such as Sam Rivers, Hamiett Bluiett, Lester Bowie, David Murray. He taught composition and directed the big band at Queens College, and was a first-call trumpet player for several producers, including Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Morrow. In 1976, he traveled to San Francisco for a weekend gig at the Keystone Korner with Oliver Lake and stayed for 2 1/2 years. He performed locally and led bands that included members such as Julian Priester,  Alex Cline, Michael Formanek, Michele Rosewoman, John Carter and Don Moye.

In 1978, Baikida returned to New York City and performed with his band, "Ring" which was comprised of Billy Hart, Julius Hemphill, Fred Hopkins, Michele Rosewoman, Nana Vasconcelos, Abdul Wadud. He also played concerts with Howard Johnson, Jay McShann, George Gruntz, Amiri Baraka, Roscoe Mitchell, Don Pullen and Leo Wadada Smith, Later in 1978, he relocated to Woodstock, NY, and became part of the faculty and artistic advisory board (along with Dave Holland and Jack Dejohnette) of Woodstock's legendary Creative Music Studio, where he taught until the Studio's closing in 1984.

The year 1978 brought a fortuitous opportunity. After performing with his band at the New York Public Theater, he was approached by Joseph Papp who was in the audience of his "Ring" concert. Mr. Papp asked him if he was interested in writing music for theater. Baikida responded enthusiastically. This initial meeting led to a long-term friendship and creative association with Joe Papp.

During the 80's and 90's Carroll performed as side man with some of the top bands in the business, including The American Quartet ( Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman, Paul Motian and Carroll) Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Don Cherry and Meredith Monk, Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill Big Bands and quartets, Muhal Richard Abram's Big Band and Quartet, Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra, David Murray's Octet, ensemble and Big Band and the  Cecil Taylor Big Band as well as his own ensembles. In 1999 Baikida completed a European tour as a featured soloist with the Carla Bley ensemble, performing her classic opera Escalator over the Hill. He also played with Patti Labelle, Lester Bowie, Tim Berne, John Lindberg and his own groups: Baikida Carroll Quartet, Baikida Carroll Quintet, Baikida Carroll Instant, Bush Wish, and Zeal.

Baikida has served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts Artists' Fellowships (1989), the Colored Museum Symposium on Multi- Ethnic Theater (1994), a Planning Board member for the Pew Charitable Trust Foundation (1992). Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's (2007-2008) He currently serves on the boards of Music OMI and the noted series Dorothy Siesel Presents Jazz at Woodstock. One of Carroll's most recent awards is a "Duke Ellington Established Composers Award", commissioned by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the International Association of Jazz Educators. For this occasion he composed and conducted "Chez Duke", performed by the United States Airforce Big Band Airmen of Note, premiering in New Orleans, Jan. 13, 2000.

BAG In Paris (1973); Orange Fish Tears (1975); The Spoken Word (1979); Shadows and Reflections (1982); Door of the Cage (1995); New York Collective (1996); Marionettes On A High Wire (2001)

As sideperson:
Oliver Lake, NTU: The Point from Which Freedom Begins (1972); Julius Hemphill: Dogon A.D. (1972); Solidarity Unit, Inc.: Red, Black and Green (1972);Human Arts Ensemble: Whisper of Dharma (1972); Hidden Strength: Hidden Strength (1975); Julius Hemphill: Coon Bid'Ness (1975); Michael Gregory: Heart and Center (1979), Gifts (1979); Vinnie Golia: Openhearted (1979); Muhal Richard Abrams: Blues Forever (1980), Mama and Daddy (1980), Rejoicing with the Light (1980); Oliver Lake: Clevont Fitzhubert, (1980); Oliver Lake: Prophet (1980); Oliver Lake: Plug It (1982); Jack DeJohnette: Inflation Blues (1983); Michele Rosewoman: The Source (1984); David Murray: Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 1 (1984), Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 2 (1984); John Carter: Castles of Gauna (1986); David Murray: New Life (1988); Carla Bley: Watts Work Family Album (1989); Oliver Lake: Gramavision Tenth Anniversary Sampler (1990); Graham Parker: Struck By Lightning (1991); Charles Papasoff: Papasoff (1993); Steve Weisberg: I Can't Stand Another Night Alone (in bed with you) (1994); Julius Hemphill: Reflections (1995); Graham Parker: No Holding Back (1996); Pheeroan ak Laff: Global Mantras (1997); John Lindberg: Ruminations upon Ives and Gottschalk (2003) and The Winter Birds (2004).; Oliver Lake Big Band: Cloth (2003) and He performed at Sweet Basil with the legendary Sam Rivers' All Stars (NYC) and recorded the his 2000 Grammy nominated CD Inspiration (1999) and Culmination (1999)

Radio and TV broadcasts:
PBS: Great Performances; For Colored Girls who Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf.
NPR: Fanfare for Warriors.
Unreleased film by Julius Hemphill:
Sweet Willie Rowbar Orientation
Inside Out In The Open, a film by Alan Roth

Billy Goes to Mecca (film); Jewels in the Test Tube  (film);
For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf; also 11 Industrial films

Theater plays:
Poem for a Revolutionary Night Suite , A play by Larry Neal;
Coontown Bicentennial Memorial Service, A musical by Julius Hemphill with 2 songs by Carroll; Eugene Sheen, A "Jazz Soap Opera" A Play by Malinke Elliot; White Sirens, A play by Lois Elaine Griffith; Black & White Two-Dimensional Planes,
A play by Ntozake Shange; The Mighty Gents, A play by Richard Wesley; Boogie Woogie Landscapes,  A play by Ntozake Shange; At the End of Small Hours, A performance piece by Avery Brooks, Diane McIntyre and Baikida Carroll; Betsey Brown, A musical, book by Ntozake Shange and Emily Mann; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A play by Tennessee Williams; The Illusion, a play by Pierre Corneille; Legacies, A play by Kermit Frasier; King Lear, A play by William Shakespeare; Miss Julie, A play by August Strindberg; Having Our Say, (Tony nominated) A play by Emily Mann; A Doll House, A play by Henrik Ibsen; The Mai, A play by Marina Carr; Greensboro: A Requiem, A play by Emily Mann; Betrayal, A play by Harold Pinter; The House of Bernarda Alba, A play by Federico Garcia Lorca; Safe as Houses, A play by Richard Greenberg; The Oedipus Plays, Three plays by Sophocles; Act Without Words, A play by Samuel Beckett; Uncle Vanya, A play by Anton Chekov

Brauer, Carl: "The Spoken Word" Cadence Magazine, Ontario, Canada, May 1979
Danson, Peter: "An Interview" Coda Magazine, Ontario,
Canada, 1983 Epstein, Helen: "Joe Papp: An American Life" Da Capo Press, New York, 1996
Futrick, Gerald and Riggins, Roger: "Two By Two" Coda Magazine, Ontario, Canada, 1983
Giardullo, Joe: "Blowing Away the Cage" The Woodstock Times, Woodstock, NY, August 31, 1995
Giddins, Gary: "Visions of Jazz" Oxford University Press, New York, Sept. 1998
Goddet, Laurent: "Interview" Jazz Hot Magazine, Paris, 1975
Horowitz, Mikhail: "Horn Again" The Woodstock Times, Woodstock, NY, Oct. 5, 1989
Lock, Graham: "Forces in Motion: Anthony Braxton and the Meta-Reality of Creative Music"
    Quartet Books, London, 1988
Kernfeld, Barry: "The New Grove Dictionary Of Jazz" St. Martin's Press, New York, 1995
Mann, Emily: "Testimonies"/four Plays by Emily Mann" Theater Communications Group, New York, 1997
Nelson, Nels: "A Life in Jazz" The Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, April 24, 1989
Nicholson, Stuart: "Jazz, 1980s Resurgence" Da Capo Press, New York 1990
Parks, Susan-Lori: "In Search of Betsey Brown" American Theatre Magazine, October 1, 1991
Peter Blum: "Baikida's Back" The Woodstock Times, Woodstock, NY, Oct. 12, 1989
Sweet, Robert E.: "Music Universe, Music Mind" Arbonville Publishing, Michigan, 1996
Wilmer, Valerie: "As Serious as Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz" London, 1977, rev. 1980
Vail, Ken: "Jazz Milestones: Pictorial Chronology of Jazz, 1900-1990" Music Sales Corp., New York, March 1993
Paul Haines: "Siena/Symposium" Coda Magazine, Toronto, Canada, January 2003
Benjamin Looker: "BAG 'Point from which creation begins" Missouri Historical Society Press, 2004

The National Endowment for the Arts (1980 and 1983)
Meet the Composer (1981,1982, and 1993)
The Musicians' Foundation (1986 and 1987)
Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees Academic Scholarship Award (1971)
Residency Fellowships at Music OMI (1997)
The American Center for Students and Artists in Paris, France (1973-75)
The International Cite des Arts Residency Fellowship, Paris, France (1975)
The Chamber Music America Award (2003)
The critically acclaimed recording "Marionettes On A High Wire" and "Door Of The Cage" received kudos as Record of the Month, Pick of the Week, and one of the Top Ten of the Year from several publications.

Contact information:
P.O. Box 486 Woodstock, NY
website: www.baikida.com

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