A Musical Education: Lee Morgan and the Philadelphia Jazz Scene of the 1950's

McMillan, Jeffrey S.

When Michael LaVoe observed Lee Morgan, a fellow freshman at Philadelphia's Mastbaum Vocational Technical High School, playing trumpet with members of the school's dance band in the first days of school in September 1953, he could not believe his ears. Morgan, who had just turned fifteen years old the previous July, had remarkable facility on his instrument and displayed a sophisticated understanding of music for someone so young. Although to some he apparently came "out of nowhere," many professional musicians were aware of Morgan's talent long before November 1956. The musical activity and opportunities afforded aspiring musicians in Philadelphia during the 1950s fed Morgan's passion and he took full advantage of every chance to play that he had. Through Morgan's biography the author asserts his view on musical education's importance in developing the skill of an artist.



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Columbia University
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March 27, 2015