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James L. Lyons

b. 18 November 1916, USA, d. 10 Apr 1994. One of the biggest of jazz’s promoters and impresarios, Lyons was initially used in 1941 like a promotion agent for any dance hall location providing Stan Kenton’s ‘Artistry In Tempo Orchestra’. Currently a jazz fan, and impressed by Kenton’s build, he took employment being a disk jockey in California, where he persuaded the administration to provide Kenton a live place. This helped provide the band head towards the open public’s interest, and Lyons as well was well offered by his achievement, graduating to NBC where he proved helpful being a presenter and manufacturer, notably on New York’s The Jubilee Display for MILITARY Radio. Post-war, Lyons came back to his indigenous California, hosting the NBC present Discapades, where he demonstrated a major impact for the jazz picture’s changeover from dixieland to bebop (the Gerry Mulligan / Chet Baker group famously having to pay tribute in ‘Range For Lyons’). Lyons also performed a crucial function in getting to light the abilities of Dave Brubeck and his octet, when everyone else was turning a deaf hearing. However, Lyons biggest triumph still place before him. In 1958 he designed the 1st line-up from the Monterey Jazz Event, boasting the finding of vibraharpist and drummer Cal Tjader furthermore to new function from Duke Ellington. Other performers included Billie Vacation and Dizzy Gillespie. Lyons continued to be the captain from the Monterey event until the first 90s, when he was pressured to retire after becoming criticised for his traditional and intransigent reserving policies. Whilst this is perhaps accurate, the sniping shouldn’t rob him of his position as an essential element in the introduction from the west coastline jazz picture.

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