Magazine article IAJRC Journal

RIP: Marian McPartland

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

RIP: Marian McPartland

Article excerpt

Marian McPartland, the genteel Englishwoman who became a fixture of the American jazz scene as a pianist and, later in life, hosted the internationally syndicated and immensely popular public radio show "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," died on August 20 at her home in Port Washington, NY, at the age of 95.

Marian McPartland was born Margaret Marian Turner in Windsor, England, on March 20, 1918. She began picking out melodies on the family piano when she was 3, and at 17 she entered the Guildhall School of Music in London.

In 1938, over her parents' strong objections, she left school to go on tour with a four-piano vaudeville act. "My mother said, 'Oh, you'll come to no good, you'll marry a musician and live in an attic,'" she recalled in 1998. "Of course, that did happen."

While on a U.S.O. tour in 1944 she met the American jazz cornetist Jimmy McPartland in Belgium; they married in early 1946, and she moved with him to Chicago later that year.

Ms. McPartland worked for a while in her husband's group, but he was a tradition-loving Dixieland musician and she was more interested in the harmonically sophisticated new sounds coming from New York City, where the McPartlands moved in 1949. …

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