MUSICIANmilestones...recent obits of classical and traditional popular music performers and composers
Ward Swingle, musician who made Bach swing, dies at 87
Ward Lamar Swingle (September 21, 1927 – January 19, 2015) was an American vocalist and jazz musician who founded The Swingle Singers in France in 1962.
Swingle then moved to France in 1951 on a Fulbright scholarship, where he studied piano with Walter Gieseking and also worked as a rehearsal pianist for Les Ballets de Paris. In 1959, he was a founding member of Les Double Six of Paris, which specialised in scat singing of jazz standards. Swingle subsequently applied the scat singing idea to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. This concept was the foundation for The Swingle Singers, which became fully established by 1962. The Swingle Singers released their albums Jazz Sebastian Bach and Bach's Greatest Hits in 1963. Their early recordings won five Grammy Awards.
VIDEO: BACH & friends - A two-hour Documentary with Joshua Bell, Bobby McFerrin, Béla Fleck, Philip Glass, Chris Thile, Hilary Hahn, Edgar Meyer, Simone Dinnerstein, Emerson String Quartet, Manuel Barrueco, Swingle Singers, Glenn Gould...