John Hicks papers, 1950-2015

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Summary

Creator:
Hicks, John, 1941-2006 and Wood, Elise
Abstract:
John Hicks was an African American jazz pianist, composer, and educator professionally active in music since the 1960s. Papers consist of compositions composed, arranged, or performed by John Hicks or Elise Wood; and professional and personal files comprising business records, press materials, photographs and correspondence. There are some photographs and clippings relating to his father, John Hicks, Sr, a Methodist minister. Also included is a large collection of audio and moving image materials in audio cassette, LP, CD, VHS, Betamax, and DVD formats, consisting chiefly of concert recordings of Hicks from the 1980s through the 2000s, but also containing rehearsals, interviews, and piano lessons with Hicks and his band members, including flautist Elise Wood.
Extent:
26 Linear Feet
Language:
Material in English
Collection ID:
RL.00537

Background

Scope and content:

The John Hicks Papers span the dates of 1950 through 2015, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1980s and 1990s. The papers consist of compositions composed, arranged, or performed by John Hicks or his musical and business partner, flautist Elise Wood; and professional and personal files comprising business records, press materials, photographs and correspondence. There are some photographs and clippings relating to his father, John Hicks, Sr, a Methodist minister.

Also included is a large collection of audio and moving image materials in audio cassette, LP, CD, VHS, Betamax, and DVD formats, consisting chiefly of concert recordings of Hicks from the 1980s through the 2000s, but also containing rehearsals, interviews, and piano lessons with Hicks and his band members, including Elise Wood.

Biographical / historical:

John Hicks (born 12 December, 1941; died 10 May, 2006) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, relocating with his family soon thereafter to Los Angeles and then to St. Louis. He studied at Lincoln University in Missouri (1958-1960), the St. Louis Institute of Music (1961-1962), Berklee College of Music, and The Juilliard School. In 1963, Hicks relocated to New York where he was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1964-1965. He then performed and toured with Betty Carter (1966-1968) and Woody Herman (1968-1970), while recording with musicians including Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, and Booker Ervin. Hicks continued with his work as a sideman in the 1970s and beyond, performing and recording Oliver Lake, Charles Tolliver, Arthur Blythe, David Murray, and numerous others. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Hicks additionally performed as a part of the Mingus Dynasty Band.

From the 1970s on, in addition to his work as a sideman and his solo appearances, Hicks also led a number of bands and ensembles. These ranged from duos to sextets and included musicians such as Sonny Fortune, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, and many others. Beginning in 1982 he regularly performed with the flutist Elise Wood, who he married in 2001.

Hicks also maintained interests in composition, composing and arranging works such as "Naima's Love Song" and "After the Morning". He further worked as an educator, teaching at Southern Illinois University, the New School for Social Research, and New York University.

Acquisition information:
The John Hicks Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in January 2011.
Processing information:

Processed by Zeke Graves and Jeremy Smith, June 2011. Added to by Paul Sommerfeld, November 2016 and April 2017.

Encoded by Zeke Graves and Jeremy Smith, June 2011.

Reparative and enhanced description by Paula Jeannet, July 2023.

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2011-0007, 2013-0120, 2016-0284, 2017-0010.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Subjects

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Subjects:
African American composers -- United States
African American jazz musicians
Composers -- United States
Jazz
Jazz musicians
Jazz musicians -- Interviews
Music -- Instruction and study
Format:
Audiocassettes
Compact discs
DVDs
Long-playing records
Photographs
VHS
Scores
Names:
Wood, Elise
Hicks, John, 1941-2006

Contents

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Restrictions:

Access note. Collection contains fragile audiovisual/photographic formats that may need to be reformatted before use. Contact Research Services for access.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], John Hicks Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.