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Summary Article: Kenton, Stan(ley Newcomb) (1912–1979) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader. Kenton broke into West Coast jazz in 1941 with his ‘wall of brass’ sound, noted for its mild experimentations in a self-described ‘progressive jazz’ style. He helped introduce Afro-Cuban rhythms to US jazz, and combined jazz and classical music in compositions like ‘Artistry in Rhythm’ (1943), his orchestra's theme song.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Kenton was raised in Los Angeles where he played the piano in several lesser-known big bands throughout the 1930s. He attracted notoriety 1950–52 with a 40-piece orchestra which he billed as ‘Innovations in Modern Music’, playing composed avant-garde works as well as jazz, and from 1952 he led a standard jazz big band. His 1964 recording Kenton Plays Wagner, and his 1966 Neophonic Orchestra were experiments in symphonic jazz. He was also a pioneer in jazz education, conducting over 100 clinics annually throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

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