Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Raphael, Lenore (Lenore Hyams)

Raphael, Lenore [Lenore Hyams], pianist, composer, educator, lyricist; b. Bronx, NY, 1 June 1942. She lived in the east Bronx until age 8 and then her parents moved to the Mosholu Parkway area of the Bronx. Her father's name was Bernard Hyams and her mother's name was Vera Hyams (nee Deutsch). Lenore's mother was a classical violinist and then studied piano. She continued to play well into her 80's. Lenore's brother, Robert Hyams, born in the Bronx, 1936, was the first influence on her jazz career, as he played the trumpet. He introduced her to the music of Clifford Brown and Fats Navarro.

Lenore began playing piano and improvising by ear at the age of three, then studied classical piano from the age of 8 till the age of 16 with concert pianist, Beulah Eisenstadt. She began giving classical concerts. She studied music at the High School of Music & Art, and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree as a music major at New York University's uptown campus in the Bronx. Lenore later continued her jazz studies with Barry Harris at Jazz Interactions workshops, 1980, and then with pianist Mike Longo in New York. Lenore took time off to marry (Joel Raphael b. 1941) move to Englishtown, New Jersey and raise a family of two boys, Mark (b.1966) and Steven (b.1970). In Englishtown she began to teach private students and learned the valuable use of cassette tapes as a learning tool for her 40 students. This eventually led to her contact with Charles Hansen of Hansen House Publishing, and her first release called "Duet Yourself" where the student plays along with the tape. She also began commuting to New York for her first professional jazz gig at a club called Gregory's, where she performed with Ellington alumni Sonny Greer and Russell Procope. A move to north Jersey in 1985 created an opportunity to produce and be the house pianist at the public library in Millburn, Lenore began the first of a series of jazz concerts that became a regular monthly feature at the library, with guest artists such as John Pizzarelli, vocalist Janet Lawson, Clark Terry, and a host of well-known musicians. She also began to perform in New York more frequently at jazz clubs like The Village Gate. Condon's, West End Gate, Birdland and other well-known clubs. Through her involvement with the New Jersey Jazz Society, Lenore became an advocate for jazz education in the schools. The society asked her to put together a program to teach jazz to children, and she and Janet Lawson developed a program called Jazz and Youth, which was videotaped for WTCI cable. The hour-long show with a class of 5th grade students featured Clark Terry, Arnie Lawrence, Lenore, Janet, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Billy Drummond. The program was so successful, that it became the prototype for "Jazz Journey". Lawson went on to present it in Latvia, and in 2002, it became the official program to teach jazz to children in that country. Lenore was asked to work with bassist Chris White to organize a summer jazz workshop at Montclair State College in New Jersey. She and White designed Project J.O.Y. (Jazz Opportunities for youth)...a hands-on 2 week workshop, with a summer enrollment of over 100 students. The project was so successful it was done three years in a row. With an increasing performance schedule, Lenore relocated back to New York in 1996 and resides in Manhattan as a base, although concerts and festivals and clinics are taking her all over the globe.

Live at the Oasis volume V; The Whole Truth (1991); Reflections (2000); Wingin' It  (2002)

Radio and television broadcasts:
WNEW. AM ("Live Jam Session w/Dakota Staton)
WUCF  (Orlando) "live" on air performances - January 2002, June 2002
KUVO (Denver) "live" on air
WDNA -"Women in Jazz" feature
"Live at Gianluca"s" -Italian cable TV
"BET Jazz Discovery"
WTCI -Cable broadcast
Riker Hill Park "Jazz Under the Stars" - Suburban Cable (New Jersey)
WHRU - Hofstra University interview
Marian McPartland "Piano Jazz" NPR (Jan. 2003)
 Unissued video - East Coast Jazz Festival (2002)
"Women In Jazz" video - Barron Art Center
"JazzBytes - live at Cleopatra's Needle" Manhattan Cablevision

"Can't Stop the Music" - New Jersey Entertainment - Sari Harrar
"Instrumental Influence of Women" - News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ 1985)
"More women in Jazz" Las Vegas Sun, Lamont Patterson
"Jazz Concerts find a Niche" New York Times (1992 -Carlotta Swarden)
"Pianist wants to spread love of Jazz" - Millburn Item (1992)
"Methods and Materials for Teaching Jazz Imrovisation to K-8 Students"
(Susanna Wegner July 1995)
"Playing Well is the Best Revenge" - New York Magazine (1987)

Jazz Master Class - Hansen House (1984)
Duet Yourself - Hansen House (1983)
"Why Jazz Education" - JazzBytes magazine

Awards and Honors:
Winner - BET on Jazz Discovery
ASCAP Popular Awards for Jazz Composition
Award for Service to Jazz Education (International Association for Jazz Education)


Contact information:
PO Box 20941 
Columbus Circle Station 
New York, NY 10023


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