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Zez Confrey

Biography

Edward Elzear “Zez” Confrey was created in Peru, IL, and begun to play piano on the sensitive age of 4. Maturing quickly, Confrey had been leading his very own dance music group in senior high school. Post-graduation, Confrey undertook a span of research in critical music on the Chicago Musical University and there became enamored from the French Impressionists, whose “modernistic” feeling of tranquility would play an integral function in his are a composer and pianist. In 1915, Confrey had taken his initial professional job being a music demonstrator within the Chicago workplace of Harry von Tilzer’s firm, and there released his first music. In 1917 Confrey became a member of the U.S. Navy, but got no nearer to leading lines than playing within a Navy-sponsored revue known as Leave It towards the Sailors. In this operate, Confrey trim his initial piano move for the Imperial Firm, a song in the show known as “Outrageous.” Upon release in the Navy, Zez Confrey became a member of the QRS piano-roll firm being a pianist and move editor. Confrey would make almost 200 piano rolls during his life time, mostly editing and enhancing them himself. Zez Confrey was thought to be among the sharpest move editors available, particularly when it found his very own compositions. One of is own 1st QRS rolls was a genuine quantity entitled “My Family pet,” and with this function Zez Confrey single-handedly ushered in neuro-scientific novelty ragtime, a method that got on structural top features of French Impressionism and didn’t suffer amateur pianists gladly (although these were nonetheless thanks for visiting try!). In 1921, Confrey obtained a big success with “Kitten for the Secrets,” which offered more than a million sheet-music copies and produced Zez Confrey children name in well-known music; as time passes, “Kitten for the Secrets” would end up being the third most-frequently documented rag ever sold, after Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” and “Twelfth Road Rag” by Euday Bowman. Also in 1921, Confrey started to make phonograph information, and by 1932 got appeared on information designed for Edison, Emerson, Brunswick, Victor, and HMV. Regarding the final three worries, Confrey was supported by way of a pickup orchestra, generally led by Walter “Gus” Haenschen or Nathaniel Shilkret. Confrey didn’t consider making recordings almost as significantly as he do producing rolls and posting sheet music — in a single case it really is known that pianist Phil Ohman sat set for Confrey using one from the information by “his” orchestra. On Feb 12, 1924, Zez Confrey made an appearance like a soloist, billed above George Gershwin, in several numbers in the historical Experiment in Contemporary Music concert at Aeolian Hall, where Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” was premiered. Later on that yr Confrey shifted from QRS towards the Aeolian business, but from the past due ’20s, Confrey’s roll-editing result began to decelerate. He continuing to compose and publish music until his pension after World Battle II. Zez Confrey’s intensive output ultimately included many character items for piano, pop tracks, mini-operas, and teaching items. Afterwards, Confrey’s superstar faded, and in the long run he succumbed to Parkinson’s disease at age 76. Regardless of the variety of functions Zez Confrey undertook, it really is because the “Ruler of Novelty Ragtime” that his popularity is made. Furthermore to “Kitten over the Tips,” Confrey can be known for the favorite melody “Stumbling” (1921) and parts such as for example “You Inform ‘Em Ivories” (1921), “Coaxing the Piano” (1922), “Dizzy Fingertips” (1923), and “Nickel within the Slot machine” (1923). They are all regarded classics from the novelty ragtime genre, and some have also become criteria within instrumental jazz and pop books aswell. Zez Confrey composed his last novelty rag, “Giddy Ditty,” in 1935.

Quick Facts


Full Name Zez Confrey
Died November 22, 1971, Lakewood, New Jersey, United States
Education Chicago Musical College
Nationality American
Music Songs Kitten on the Keys, Dizzy Fingers, You Tell 'Em Ivories, Humorestless, Coaxing the Piano, Poor Buttermilk, Charleston Chuckles, My Pet, Mississippi Shivers, Greenwich Witch, Tap Dance of the Chimes, Dumbell, Jay Walk, Rag Doll Carnival, Kinda Careless, Nickel in the Slot, That Old Piano Roll Band, The Sheik of Araby, Stumbling, Morning Will Come, The red lantern, Novelette, Three Little Oddities: Romanza, Heaven's Garden, Midsummer's Nightmare, Della Robbia, Struttin' At the Strutter's Ball, That Thing Called Love, Fantasy of Today, Waltz Mirage, By the Waters of Minnetonka, True Blue Sam
Albums Piano Music (feat. piano: Eteri Andjaparidze), Plays the Great Composers, Zez Confrey: Creator of the Novelty Rag, Piano Rolls and Scores
Movies Home Run On The Keys


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Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Behind the Candelabra 2013 TV Movie writer: "Kitten on the Keys" - as Edward Zez Confrey
Hemingway & Gellhorn 2012 TV Movie writer: "Kitten of the Keys"
Hugo 2011 performer: "By the Waters of the Minnetonka"
The Broken Tower 2011 writer: "Stumbling" - as Edward Confrey
Boardwalk Empire TV Series performer - 3 episodes, 2010 writer - 1 episode, 2010
The Cat's Meow 2001 writer: "Stumbling" 1922
American Masters 1997 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
The Carpenters: Music, Music, Music 1980 TV Special writer: "Dizzy Fingers"
The Great Gatsby 1974 writer: "Kitten on the Keys"
Thoroughly Modern Millie 1967 writer: "Stumbling" - uncredited
The Eddy Duchin Story 1956 music: "Dizzy Fingers" - uncredited
Mother Wore Tights 1947 writer: "Stumbling" - uncredited
Champagne Music 1946 Short writer: "Stumbling"
Florian 1940 writer: "Stumbling" - uncredited
Home Run on the Keys 1937 Short music: "Kitten on the Keys" - uncredited / performer: "Kitten on the Keys", "Home Run on the Keys" - uncredited / writer: "Home Run on the Keys" - uncredited
Balloon Land 1935 Short writer: "Buffoon" - uncredited
Vaudeville 1935 Short music: "Dizzy Fingers" - uncredited
Rambling 'Round Radio Row #10 1934 Short music: "Sittin' on a Log Pettin' My Dog" - uncredited
A Tough Winter 1930 Short music: "Jack In The Box" - uncredited
Bear Shooters 1930 Short music: "Jack In The Box"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Home Run on the Keys 1937 Short Zez Confrey

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Balloon Land 1935 Short composer: title theme - uncredited

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