ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Flory Jagoda, Keeper Of Sephardic Music Traditions, 97

Jagoda sang and wrote songs that connected her to her grandmother in Yugoslavia. "They were songs of home and family, of love and Hanukkah, many of them in the diasporic language — Ladino, a form of Castilian Spanish mixed with Hebrew, Arabic and Turkish — spoken by the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Some eventually settled in Vlasenica, where Mrs. Jagoda spent part of her childhood, among her beloved grandparents and extended family." - The New York Times

Carmel Quinn, Irish Singer And Storyteller Who Performed For JFK At The White House, 95

But more people would know her as the "blue-eyed, flame-haired Irish singer and storyteller who packed Carnegie Hall on St. Patrick’s Day for a quarter-century and regaled her audiences with tunes and tales from the Old Country." - The New York Times

Leon Gast, Filmmaker Of ‘When We Were Kings,’ 84

Gast spent 22 years making the documentary about the Rumble in the Jungle, and in the end, it paid off: "In 1996, Mr. Gast and Mr. Sonenberg took it to the Sundance Film Festival, where they received a special jury citation and 17 distribution offers. Critics praised the film, which nearly swept the awards for documentary films that season — including, in early 1997, the Academy Award for best documentary feature." - The New York Times

Patrick Dupond, French Ballet Star And Former Director Of The Paris Opera Ballet, 61

Dupont was a household name in France, where his death was major news and occasioned a press release from the president's office. He was sent to audition for the Paris Opera Ballet School at 10: "His talent and charm made him a favorite of the school’s director, Claude Bessy, who championed him despite his often rebellious attitude and frequent misdemeanors." - The New York Times

The Co-Collaborator Behind John Le Carré

Nick Cornwell, the son of both people who created John Le Carré: "It was easy to misunderstand her as just a typist – and many did – not only because she also typed everything, as he never learned how, but also because her interventions were made in private, before the text was ever seen by anyone else. I was witness to it as a child and then as a teenager, but by and large only they knew what passed between them and how much she reframed, adjusted, trained the novels as they grew." - The Guardian (UK)

Tony Hendra, Comic Writer/Editor/Actor, Dead At 79

" began writing and performing comedy while a student at Cambridge University, traveling in the same circles as future members of the Monty Python troupe. In 1964 he and his performing partner, Nick Ullett, took their stage act to the United States, and from there he fashioned a steady if peripatetic career doing stand-up comedy, writing and editing for various publications" — he spent periods in the top jobs at National Lampoon and Spy magazine — "acting and publishing books." - The New York Times

Inventor Of The Cassette Tape, Lou Ottens, Dead At 94

As chief of new product development for Philips in 1960, Ottens invented the first portable tape recorder. But it was reel-to-reel, a format which he (like many) found frustratingly bulky, so he set out to invent a tape that would fit in a jacket pocket — and wound up transforming the audio world. Yet later, he quite matter-of-factly stated that the cassette had been completely superseded by the CD — which he also had a major hand in developing. - The Guardian

TV Newsman Roger Mudd, 93

" Peabody Award-winning journalist who spent a quarter-century at CBS News and NBC News and came close to becoming a No. 1 network anchorman — not that he wanted that, anyway" — he was most famous for his reporting on the scene at Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, asking Ted Kennedy a pointed question whose abysmal answer sank the latter's presidential prospects, and a CBS Reports special that sank the public's and Congress's trust in the Pentagon. - The Hollywood Reporter

Norton Juster, Author Of ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’, Dead At 91

"A budding architect with a self-confessed tendency to procrastinate, Mr. Juster … stumbled into literature much as his most famous hero, Milo, stumbles into the marvelous world of wordplay and adventure in the classic 1961 . They were bored and entirely unsuspecting of the wonders that awaited them." - The Washington Post

Jazz Drummer And Bandleader Ralph Peterson Jr., 58

"The sheer, onrushing force of Peterson's beat, paired with his alert ear and agile dynamism, made him one of the standout jazz musicians to emerge in the 1980s. Part of a striving peer group known as the Young Lions, which coalesced around the resurgence of acoustic hard bop, he distinguished himself early on as a powerful steward of that tradition." - WBGO (Newark, NJ)

Chadwick Boseman Could Make Oscars History, Posthumously

He wouldn't be the first actor to have been nominated for an award after death, but if he were nominated both for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for actor in a leading role and for Da 5 Bloods for supporting actor, that would be a first. Voting began March 5 and runs for six days; nominations will be announced March 15. - Los Angeles Times

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Followed By A Security Guard, Who Said She Looked Suspicious

The poet, who is 22, "wrote on Twitter that a security guard 'tailed' her while she was walking home Friday night. 'He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building,' Gorman wrote. 'He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.'" - Slate

Naomi Rosenblum, Historian Of Photography Who Forced Others To See It As Art, 96

When she started her major scholarship, "histories of photography traditionally focused on England, France and the United States. But Dr. Rosenblum’s ... A World History of Photography (1984), provided a true global perspective. The book was translated into several languages and remains a standard text in the field. Her other major work, A History of Women Photographers (1994), traced their accomplishments from the mid-1800s through the late 20th century." - The New York Times

Patrick Dupond, Star And Director Of Paris Opera Ballet, Dead At 61

He entered the company's school at age 10, joined the company at 16 and was an étoile at 21. He became one of the company's most popular stars, but fell out with his tempestuous boss, Rudolf Nureyev, and left in 1985. In 1990, aged 30, he became Nureyev's successor; he added contemporary works to the repertoire and invited leading contemporary dance companies (e.g., Graham, Ailey, Bausch, de Keersmaeker) onto the Opéra's august stage. But, by 1997, he was again clashing with his bosses, and he was fired for, in his words, "insubordination and indiscipline." (He had accepted an invitation to sit on the jury at Cannes without the bosses' permission.) In 2017, he and collaborator Leïla Da Rocha founded a new company and school, White Eagle Dance, in Bordeaux; at the time, he made waves by announcing that "As far as I'm concerned, homosexuality was an error" and he...

Chris Barber, Trombonist Who Shaped Britain’s Jazz Scene, Dead At 90

" was one of the most accessible and charismatic figures to emerge from the New Orleans-inspired jazz revivalist movement that played such a significant part in shaping British popular music between the late 1940s and mid-'60s." - The Guardian

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