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Max Roach


Internationally acclaimed percussionist and composer, Max Roach received a fellowship from the MacArthur foundation in 1988. This prestigious fellowship is awarded annually to extraordinarily talented individuals who discover, create and contribute to American scientific and cultural life. A pioneer in the development of contemporary American music, his innovations include revolutionizing the use of the multiple percussion set. During the course of his distinguished career, Mr Roach has collaborated with such diverse artists as Alvin Ailey, Sam Shepard, Dizzy Gillespie, the Boston Pops and John Williams, Charlie Parker, Cecil Taylor, and the Kodo drummers of Japan.
A world-wide lecturer and porformer, Mr. Roach has composed works for soloists, chorus, orchestra, theatre, dance, television and his quartet, Double Quartet, and The Uptown String Quartet. His theatrical scores for "Shepard Sets" by playwright Wam Shepard earned Mr. Roach an "OBIE" award. A professor at the University of Massachussetts Department of Music and Dance, he is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the New England Conservatory of Music, University of Maryland, Eastman School of Music, and The Manhattan School of Music, as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Wesleyan University.
Max Roach was awarded the highest cultural honor in France when he was named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1989. He is a two-time winner of the French "Grand Prix du Disque" and and inductee to the Hall of Fame of the International Percussive Arts society. He was also honored in 1990 by the members of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts with their Samuel Rosenbaum Award. Presented in Boston at the 53rd conference of the Guild, the Rosenbaum Award was presented to Max in recognition of his lifelong dedication to music education and for promoting the ideals to which the Guild and its membership are dedicated. Mr. Roach was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for his A&M duet "Max & Dizzy". He recently completed work on his original score for the new San Diego Repertory Theatre production "The Life and Life of Bumpy Johnson"

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