Galt MacDermot is one of this century's most prolific and distinguished composers. He is best known for his music in HAIR, and his Tony Award-winning score for Two Gentlemen of Verona. MacDermot's work spans the gamut of performing arts; musicals (HAIR, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Human Comedy), ballet scores (La Novela, Salome), film scores (Cotton Comes To Harlem, Fortune and Men's Eyes, Mistress), chamber music (Wind Quintet), the Anglican Liturgy (The Mass in F), poetry (The Thomas Hardy Songs), drama accompaniments (The Sun Always Shines For The Cool, The Shooting of Dan McGrew), and band repertory. He draws inspiration from a wealth of musical scores, crossing the boundaries of jazz, folk, gospel, reggae, and classical styles.
The son of a Canadian diplomat, Mr. MacDermot was born and raised in Montréal. After attending Bishop's University, he received a more extensive musical education at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and then moved to New York in 1964. Three years later, MacDermot wrote the music for the landmark Broadway production, HAIR, which he later adapted for the screen.
MacDermot formed the New Pulse Jazz Band in 1979, which features his original music. Accompanying him are five dynamic musicians: Bernard Purdie (drums), Allen Won (tenor and soprano saxophone), Wilbur Bascomb (Fender bass), Charlie Brown (guitar), and Vincent MacDermot (trombone). The New Pulse Jazz Band combines the lyricism of the best musical theater with the unique rhythms of classic jazz to create a uniquely captivating sound.
Galt MacDermot's music has found a new venue with young rap artists who find his rhythms perfect for setting their lyrics, as in Run DMC's Grammy award-winning Down With The King, and Billboard's top chart-buster, Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check by Busta Rhymes derived from MacDermot's Martine's Movie/Woman is Sweeter. Galt performed The Thomas Hardy Songs at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, last December to a sold-out crowd, and followed up with another sold out Carnegie Hall performance this past December featuring The Joan of Arc Legend and The Concerto for Snug Harbor, soon to be released on CD.
Galt MacDermot's recordings can be obtained through Kilmarnock Records, New York.12 Silver Lake Road
Staten Island, NY 10301
Outside the USA
(Biography courtesy Kilmarnock Records, with URLs added by Tracy Harris.)
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