Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Homzy, Andrew, composer, researcher, educator, tubaist; b. Toledo, OH, 31 October 1945. By age one, moved to and grew up mainly in a suburb of Cleveland called Brooklyn, Ohio. Moved to Montreal in 1967 where he has lived ever since. His citizenship is of the United States of America and he's a Canadian Landed Immigrant. He has taught Jazz Studies and Music Theory at Concordia University since 1976 and is engaged in research on Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, aspects of jazz composition as well as classical violinists and the violin. His other teaching positions include Music Specialist for the Montreal Catholic School Commission at Marymount Comprehensive High School (September 1970-June 1974).
He attended a Brass Seminar, summer 1965 at Cornell University Studies with the New York Brass Quintet and tuba studies with Harvey Phillips. He attended a Jazz Seminar summer 1969 at New England Conservatory of Music Institute at Tanglewood. He studied with David Baker and Jerry Coker. He got his Bachelor of Music, Major in Music Theory, in 1967 from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio. He got his Master of Musical Arts in Musicology, 1971 at McGill University. His Thesis Topic was Jazz - Style and Theory: From Its Origin In Ragtime And Blues To The Beginning Of The Big Band Era (1932). He got his Quebec Teachers Certificate in 1973 from McGill University.
He started off as a freelance tubaist in the Montreal area. His work includes C.B.C. radio and television, Canadian National Film Board, various recording sessions for discs and commercial work, Ballets, Operas and symphonic work at Place Des Arts and other major concert halls in Quebec. He was tubaist, orchestrator and arranger for the 1976 Olympics. Currently tubaist with Omni-cuivre Brass Quintet. In 1967, Homzy joined the Vic Vogel Big Band and remained a member until 1982. In 1968, Homzy was asked by Walter Boudreau to join his avant garde group Liinfonie. Mr. Homzy has been active as a pianist, bassist, conductor, arranger and composer in a wide variety of roles and leader of many musical groups including The Peel Street Stompers, Sax No End, Thesaurus, The Andrew Homzy Jazz Orchestra, The Andrew Homzy Selected Sextet, The Valentino Orchestra.
Formed in April of 1983, the 16-piece Andrew Homzy Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to the performance of extended suites by Ellington, Francy Boland and others, as well as premiering new compositions by Homzy and others. The group has presented many concerts at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, recorded broadcasts for the CBC and Radio-Canada, and was featured in three evenings of concerts at the conference Ellington '90 in Ottawa, Ontario. He is also director of The Valentino Orchestra (a 1930s styled group) which has done concerts at the Montreal International Jazz Festival attracting over 100,000 people and 3 CDs.
Sharing the work with Gunther Schuller, he edited the first half of Charles Mingus's Epitaph which he had discovered in 1985 while cataloging all of Mingus' musical manuscripts and compositions. He assisted in preparing the music for rehearsals, and wrote program notes for the world premiere of Epitaph on June 3, 1989 at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and for the second performance at the Wolftrap Festival of Performing Arts on July 3, 1989. In Copenhagen, 1997 he directed the Swedish Radio Orchestra in a performance of Mingus's "Epitaph".
He has written extensive notes for CD boxed sets published by RCA, Sony and Rhino. In 1991 he worked for The Smithsonian Institution as a research consultant to identify and document manuscripts by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in the archives at the American Museum of History. He was commissioned to transcribe historic jazz recordings for performance and publication by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, 1989-94. He was producer of a special concert Jelly Roll Re-discovered, broadcasted March 28, 1997 on Radio-Canada. It featured ten arrangements of Morton's music and an original composition, "Madame Lamothe."
He's married with two daughters.
Works citing Homzy:
Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Edited by Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin. 2nd Edition Published by Univ of Toronto: October 1992. ISBN: 0802028810
Gilmore, John. Who's who of jazz in Montreal. Montreal. Vehicule Press, 1989. ISBN: 091989092X
Miller, Mark. The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada and Canadians in Jazz: Mercury Press, 2001. ISBN: 1551280930
Works by Homzy:
AH, Transcriber, editor; Ellington: Caravan. and The Sergeant Was Shy (Smithsonian Institution)
AH, thesis, Master of Musical Arts - Musicology: 1971 - McGill University: Jazz - Style and Theory: From Its Origin In Ragtime And Blues To The Beginning Of The Big Band Era (1932)
Homzy, Andrew. Black, Brown and Beige in Duke Ellington's Repertoire, 1943 - 1973. Black Music Research Journal 1993.
Homzy, Andrew. Me And You: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.. In The Village Voice - Jazz Supplement, 23 June 1992.
More Than A Fakebook: The Music Of Charles Mingus. Historical Perspective and Musical Analyses by Andrew Homzy. New York: Jazz Workshop (Distributed by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 1991.
Liner Notes by AH:
Mary Lou Williams: The Zodiac Suite (VJC-1035) 12 pp., 1991.
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra: Fargo, North Dakota - November 7, 1940. VJC - 1019/20-2 - 2 CDs. 20 pp., 1990
Duke Ellington-Back, Brown And Beige: The 1944-1946 Band Recordings. New York: RCA Bluebird 6641-2-RB - 3 CDs, 52 pp., 1988.
Liner notes published with the Columbia CD recording of Epitaph.
Home Address: 4656 Patricia Avenue Montreal, Quebec Canada H4B 1Z1
Phone (514) 489-0418
University Address: Concordia University 7141 Sherbrooke Street West Montreal, Quebec Canada H4B 1Z1
Phone (514) 848-4706 FAX (514) 848-2808
Professor of Music, Concordia University - Montreal, Quebec