Ulysses Kay

Ulysses Kay (1917-1995), born in in Tucson, Az (and went to my high school), was the nephew of the New Orleans jazz legend and cornet player, Joe "King" Oliver, who influenced him in his formative years. After finishing his undergrad at the University of Arizona, where he was also mentored by William Grant Still, he went to Eastman and Yale, studying composition with Howard Hanson, and Hindemith. He did a stint in the Navy Band during WW2 and then went to Columbia University. In 1958 Kay went to the Soviet Union on a cultural exchange program with the first delegation of American composers. In the 60s he won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was professor of composition at Lehman College until 1988, and his final opera, “Frederick Douglass” was completed in 1991. He has written many many works in all genres, including film and television.



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