Volume CIII, No. 6June, 2003
Edward Bebko – Organ
Dave Bowman – Piano
Katharine E. Brainard – Cello
Al Cappi – Guitar
Matt Carnevale – Piano
John N. Chryssikos – Violin
Peter Compo – Violin/Bass
Jack Danisi – Piano
Ruth Freeman-Gudeman – Flute
Victor Jarowey – Reeds/Arranger
George Kanrich – Piano
Hal Lanis – Piano
Julius Levine – Bass
Joe Losh – Trumpet
Susan Mass – Piano
Anthony J. Perfetti – Trumpet
Robert M. Pierson – Saxophone
Victor Sanders – Trumpet
Joseph Schmotzer – Saxophone
Artie Shapiro – Bass
Nina Simone – Vocals/Piano
Charles F. Smarsh – Saxophone
Christine McIlwain Vanek – Violin/Viola
Jak Zadikov – Conductor
Edward Bebko, 92, an organist and an 802 member since 1972, died last Oct. 26.
Mr. Bebko was born in Brooklyn and began playing piano for silent movies at the age of 13. He later studied organ with Don Baker at the Capitol Theatre and began using the stage name “Eddie Baker.”
When movies started using sound he found himself unemployed as did many fellow organists. But when the Hammond organ came on the scene in 1935 he became involved in radio work with the major broadcasting companies. He also served as cruise director on numerous cruise ships.
In 1939, he was picked up by Radio City Music Hall to open and close the house each day with organ music.
Mr. Bebko won the America Theatre Organ Society Hall of Fame award in July 1992. His last appearance was in 2000 at the Middletown (N.Y.) Paramount Theatre where he gave a talk on the theatre organ era and performed a concert.
He is survived by his wife Stella, son Eddie and daughter Barbara.
Al Cappi, 85, a guitarist and an 802 member since 1946, died on March 27.
Mr. Cappi was a self-taught musician. As a young man, he worked with Alan Reuss, George Van Eps and Carl Kress. He worked in clubs and big bands and served a brief stint in the Army band where he played clarinet.
Mr. Cappi did radio and TV work from 1950 to 1970, including Merv Griffins early shows. He frequently played the Joe Franklin Show. He was often seen at Eddie Bells guitar headquarters on Sixth Avenue.
He also performed in the Broadway pits. He soon discovered that he needed to learn many different fretted instruments and styles to accommodate the various kinds of gigs he was getting. He learned classical guitar, 18th century styles, the style of Villa Lobos, and Brazilian bossa nova and samba.
He was a personal guitarist to Vic Damone and other singers who were featured at the major hotels in the city. He played with Fred Waring and Paul Whiteman. He was featured with Jackie Gleason on Gleasons “Lonesome Echo” album.
He is survived by his son Carmine, daughters Jean and Louise, sisters Rose and Fay and four grandchildren.
Peter Compo, 70, a violinist and bassist and an 802 member since 1950, died on April 28.
Mr. Compo graduated from Juilliard. He studied violin with Charles Cacioppo, bass with Homer Mensch and improvisation with Slam Stewart, Tony Aless, Bill Rubenstein and Gene Roland.
He played with the CBS Symphony Orchestra, New Haven (Conn.) Symphony, Little Orchestra Society of New York and the National Orchestra.
Mr. Compo performed in numerous Broadway shows and also played for the soundtracks of “Raging Bull,” “A Doctors Story,” “Flamingo Kid” and “Tootsie.”
He played with Charlie Barnet, Billy Butterfield, Claude Thornhill, Fred Waring, Boyd Raeburn, Larry Sonn, Elliot Lawrence, Dick Meldonian, Sonny Igoe, Vaughn Monroe, Johnny Long and the 1981 Glenn Miller Orchestra led by Clem DeRosa.
He also worked with a list of greats too numerous to mention in entirety, including Mose Allison, Gene Krupa, Harry Belafonte, Stuff Smith, Jo Jones, Roy Eldridge, Bill Evans, Zoot Sims and Lionel Hampton.
He is survived by three children and five grandchildren.
Victor Jarowey, 83, a reed player, arranger and copyist, and an 802 member since 1947, died on April 18.
Mr. Jarowey started his musical career in the 1930s. He left his hometown of Pittsburgh to play reeds and Dixieland jazz in New Orleans at the age of 14. He returned to Pittsburgh a few years later to play with the Pittsburgh Symphony and soon after started touring with a local band.
His professional career was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army during World War II. However, he was able to serve as a musician. He played all during the war and performed on many radio shows.
Upon returning to New York, he re-established his playing career, only to have it sidelined again, this time by tuberculosis. At the time he became sick, he had been playing the 52nd Street jazz scene and had played with Billie Holiday and other greats.
After spending three years in a sanatorium the treatment for TB at the time it became hard to return to playing professionally. So, after graduating from Manhattan School of Music, he began to work in the music prep field.
He ultimately worked with Chelsea Music, where he became a partner with Mathilde Pincus and later Christine Ambrose and Bob Holloway.
He is survived by his brother Walter, sisters Ann and Olga, daughters Jody, Leslie and Suzanne and four grandchildren.
Hal Lanis, 86, a pianist and an 802 member since 1939, died on March 30.
Born and raised in Stamford, Ct., Mr. Lanis took piano lessons when he was young, and he become so good that he taught the rest of the family.
Growing up, he played all around Stamford and Westchester County. He played mostly club dates, big band and dance music. One of his first travelling gigs was playing with Saxey Dowell.
Mr. Lanis was drafted into the Army in 1940. He entered as a private, but through officer training was able to advance to captain. During the war he played piano occasionally but served officially as a hospital administrator.
When he returned to civilian life, he performed with Meyer Davis around the Northeast. He also played country clubs all over the U.S. with various bands. He worked on cruise ships and obtained his Merchant Marine seamans papers which were required to work on ships at that time.
His is survived by his nephew Bernie Moorin, two nieces and two grandnephews.
Julius Levine, 81, a bassist and an 802 member since 1941, died on March 28.
For decades, starting in the late 1940s, Mr. Levine was an important presence in the chamber music life of New York City and was frequently heard as a guest of string quartets when they played works that require a bassist. He was renowned as a teacher and chamber music coach.
Among the groups he performed with were the Amadeus, Budapest, Guarneri and Juilliard quartets. He was closely associated with the Marlboro Festival in Vermont and with the Music From Marlboro national tours. He played and taught at Marlboro for 24 summers and at Tanglewood for 15 summers.
His performances on the double bass are heard on several classic recordings of Schuberts Trout Quintet.
He is survived by his wife Caroline (also an 802 member), daughters Dena and Amy, brother Max and grandson Bailey.
Joe Losh, 83, a trumpeter and an 802 member since 1937, died on March 10.
Mr. Loshs talent was recognized early on when he won a trumpet contest judged by William Vacchiano, then a member of the New York Philharmonic. The prize was a scholarship to the New York Military Academy (Cornwall-on-Hudson), which began Mr. Loshs interest in military service. He later joined the National Guard, playing with the 102nd Engineers Band. He studied music at the Ernest Williams School of Music in Brooklyn.
Mr. Losh served in the Army during World War II and upon his return joined what became the National Guard of the 44th Division. He continued his engineering studies and became a practicing engineer.
He also joined the Air Force Reserve, but was best known by his friends and fellow musicians as commander of the John Philip Sousa Post (#1112) of the American Legion. The post was an all-musicians post that sponsored weekly concert band sight-reading rehearsals.
Mr. Losh was also involved with Windjammers Unlimited, an organization that promotes and performs music associated with the circus. He rehearsed and performed with Windjammers and occasionally directed concerts. Mr. Losh also played with the Barnum and Bailey Circus Band from time to time.
Mr. Losh performed in various parades under the aegis of Local 802. He played taps at Grants Tomb, was a member of the Old Guard of New York, played Italian and other ethnic feasts and also played in the Hi Cuzzins Polka Band led by Walter Procayn.
He is survived by his sister Elisabeth.
Artie Shapiro, 87, a bassist and an 802 member since 1934, died on March 24.
Mr. Shapiro grew up in New York and played trumpet from the age of 13. He took up bass when he was 18.
After playing and recording with Wingy Manone in the early 1930s, he lived briefly in Washington, D.C., then returned to New York, where he performed and recorded with Manone, Joe Marsala and Tommy Dorsey.
From the mid-1930s he worked as a studio musician, recording with Frank Froeba, Sharkey Bonano, Red McKenzie, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Bud Freeman, Chu Berry and Eddie Condon.
In addition, he was a member of Paul Whitemans band and performed at Nicks in New York with Bobby Hackett.
Mr. Shapiro worked briefly with Marsala and Whiteman before moving to Hollywood where he worked as a freelance musician, recording with Jack Teagarden, Charlie LaVere, Charlie Ventura, Joe Sullivan, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.
In 1941, Mr. Shapiro was inducted into the Metronome Hall of Fame. From 1949 to 1959 he worked for MGM and until 1962 he continued to record with such singers as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
He is survived by his wife Marie, granddaughter Deborah, grandson Mitchell and two great grandsons.
Nina Simone, 70, a vocalist, pianist and songwriter, and a former 802 member, died on April 29.
Ms. Simone was known as the voice of the civil rights movement. She was born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, N.C. and grew up singing in a church choir and studying piano. She received a scholarship to Juilliard in 1950.
In 1954 she got a job playing piano at a bar and grill in Atlantic City, where she assumed her stage name. After her first night on the job, she was told that she had to sing as well as play, so she began emulating Billie Holiday and other singers she admired.
In 1958 Ms. Simone signed with Bethlehem Records; a few months later, she was on the pop charts. One of her best-remembered hits was “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” She later recorded for Colpix, Phillips and RCA Victor. She made it to the Top 20 once her very first single, “I Loves You, Porgy,” released in 1959.
Her tunes often showed her political consciousness. “Mississippi Goddam” was an angry response to the killing of the civil rights advocate Medgar Evers. She also wrote “Young, Gifted and Black,” and “Four Women.”
Ms. Simone usually performed with a rhythm section and always accompanied herself on piano. Her music was tinged with folk, classical, blues and jazz.
She left the U.S. in 1973, living in Liberia and Barbados before settling in France.
She is survived by her daughter Lisa (who is known professionally as Simone), three brothers and a sister.
Christine McIlwain Vanek
Christine McIlwain Vanek, 49, a violinist and violist, and an 802 member since 1980, died on March 30.
Ms. McIlwain began music studies at age five in Holland, Mich., with violin teacher Wanda Rider. She studied at the University of Michigan, and at Interlochen National Music Camp with Frances Bundra. She also studied with Lillian Fuchs at Manhattan School of Music and with William Lincer at Queens College, where she graduated in 1981.
After graduating, Ms. McIlwain moved back to Michigan and won chairs in the Kalamazoo, Lansing and Grand Rapids symphonies.
Moving with her husband to Denver, she established a Suzuki teaching studio, and played with the Cassatt (Denver) Quartet.
After returning to New York in 1992, she worked as a freelance violinist and violist, and taught violin to young children.
Ms. McIlwain is survived by her husband Noel and daughter Hannah, who is also a member of Local 802.