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Luther Henderson

Biography

Of no regards to Fletcher Henderson, Luther Henderson’s very long career ranks among the most diverse among vintage jazz performers who originated within the Kansas City jazz picture, branching into film and tv soundtrack ratings and Broadway displays. Some amazing collaborations with both Canadian Brass and conductor Sir Simon Rattle brought the group back around, delivering vintage jazz materials in traditional contexts such as for example chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. His dad an actor and a college instructor,Henderson’s music profession began auspiciously more than enough with research at Julliard. While he became most widely known as an arranger, Henderson was also a split pianist in his youngsters, triumphing over a great many other great players in a Harlem beginner competition in 1934. In the past due ’30s through 1944 he caused innovative electrical guitarist Leonard Ware, after that spent many years within a Navy music group. By 1947 he previously established his very own studio room and was also gigging in an organization fronted by trumpeter Mercer Ellington, simply section of a romantic relationship using the Ellington clan that aside from creative achievements was evidently not always fulfilling. Henderson progressed into one of many so-called “traditional hands” of Duke Ellington, moving in to rating and arrange orchestrations that proceeded to go beyond the big-band format. Based on various biographical resources Henderson had not been consistently content with the credit he received for these efforts towards the Ellington cannon, a reoccurring theme within the story of 1 of the best jazz composers where many sidemen, especially horn players, stated to get improvised riffs which were afterwards copyrighted with the bandleader. The unavoidable career result is most beneficial defined by Henderson biographer Devra DoWrite: “Luther Henderson isn’t children name, not a B-list superstar in the eye of everyone. Getting a publisher for his biography is a extended and difficult procedure, but I am very happy to state that I have already been offered a agreement, am in discussions at this time, and desire to announce the putting your signature on very soon. On the other hand, people are requesting me ‘Luther who?’ and ‘Why him?'” In the ’50s onward Henderson held his very own studios choosing various organizing and conducting tasks. He caused vocalists Eartha Kitt and Carmen McRae in addition to performers in the globe of musical humor including the wonderful Polly Bergen as well as the amusing Victor Borge. A lot of this function was carried out for the growing television market; Henderson added to the Playhouse 90 series as well as the Ed Sullivan Display, among additional boob pipe offerings. On Broadway he was connected with many strikes: Blossom Drum Song, Crazy Woman, No No Nanette, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Jelly’s Last Jam included in this. Soon before his loss of life Henderson was called a Country wide Endowment for the Arts Jazz Expert. He is not similar Luther Henderson who performed trumpet on a small number of recordings from your ’20s.

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth March 14, 1919
Died July 29, 2003, New York City, New York, United States
Profession Composer, Pianist, Orchestrator, Music Director
Education New York University, Juilliard School
Nationality American
Spouse Billie Allen, Steffi Henderson
Children Melanie Henderson, Luther L. Henderson, III, Denson B. Henderson
Parents Florence Black, Luther Henderson
Awards Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations
Music Songs The Jitterbug Waltz, The Saints' Halleluja, I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling
Albums A Broadway Extravaganza!
Nominations Tony Award for Best Orchestrations, Tony Award for Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Musical, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction
Movies The Slams, Recess


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Recipient of a Jazz Masters Award from the USA's National Endowment for the Arts in 2004.
2 Melanie Henderson, 3rd child
3 Luther Lincoln Henderson III, 2nd child
4 Denson Henderson, first born son
5 He and director-actress wife Billie Allen won Pioneer Awards at the Audelco "VIV" Awards 18 November 2002.
6 He and his close friend Mercer Ellington, son of Jazz great Duke Ellington, attended high school together.
7 He has arranged over 100 songs for The Canadian Brass.
8 He was a staff orchestrator for The U. S. Navy School of Music, Washington, D. C. from 1944-1946.
9 He was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1992, collaborating on music with 'Jelly Roll Morton' and with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, as Best Score (Musical) for "Jelly's Last Jam;" and in 1997 for Best Orchestrations for "Play On!".


Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Great Performances 2000 TV Series orchestrator - 1 episode
The Miss Teen USA Pageant 1983 TV Special musical director
Ain't Misbehavin' 1982 TV Movie music arranger / musical director / orchestrator
Summer in New York 1960 TV Movie composer: "Purple Goatee" ballet music / musical director
The Polly Bergen Show TV Series musical director - 17 episodes, 1957 - 1958 musical supervision - 1 episode, 1958

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson 2004 Documentary writer: "High Society"
Great Performances TV Series 1 episode, 2004 performer - 1 episode, 1999
The 46th Annual Tony Awards 1992 TV Special music: "That's How You Jazz"
Quartet 1981 arranger: "The 509", "Full Time Lover"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ain't Misbehavin' 1982 TV Movie The Piano Player
Time for Joya! 1970 TV Series The Professor

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Slams 1973
Recess 1969

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Great Performances 1992-1999 TV Series Himself
The 51st Annual Tony Awards 1997 TV Special Himself - Nominee: Best Orchestrations
American Masters 1996 TV Series documentary Himself
Working in the Theatre 1992 TV Series documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1940s: Stars, Stripes and Singing 2009 Video documentary Himself

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1982 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction Ain't Misbehavin' (1982)


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#Trademark
1 Noted for his wearing of skipper's caps; and he always sported a goatee


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