Soloff was born in Brooklyn and raised in Lakewood, NJ where he began studying piano at an early age. When he was ten, he took up the trumpet, eventually attending the Juilliard Preparatory School and, later, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
He became one of the most respected jazz musicians of his generation.
After one year of graduate school at Julliard, Lew became involved in the New York Latin jazz and jazz scene, playing with artists like Maynard Ferguson, Joe Henderson, Tito Puente and Gil Evans.
He joined Blood, Sweat and Tears in time to be part of their second album, Blood, Sweat & Tears (he replaced Randy Brecker). The album won GRAMMYs for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Performance (“Variations On A Theme By Eric Satie”).
From February 10, 1969
Woodstock Music and Art Fair
Blood, Sweat and Tears performed early Monday morning at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair after Johnny Winter and before Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young).
For some artists, Woodstock was a pinnacle. Blood, Sweat, and Tears did not get much traction out of Woodstock as they did not appear in the movie or on the album, but they were already Grammy successful.
Soloff remained with BS & T for four more albums and remained in music playing with dozens of different bands for the rest of his life.
Much more later
The Allmusic.com site synopsis states: Soloff was closely associated with Gil Evans from 1973 on, and also played with George Gruntz’s Concert Jazz Band, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, and Carla Bley; he was also teamed with the colorful trombonist Ray Anderson on several often-humorous recordings.
Daniel E Slotnick wrote in the New York Times, Mr. Soloff had little use for genre limitations. He was a session musician for Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Lou Reed; he was the lead trumpeter of both the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; he tackled Bach as a member of the quintet Manhattan Brass.
The man play A LOT! Here is his discography at Wikipedia or here for the AllMusic list. Your fingers will tire.
Lew Soloff died of a heart attack in Brooklyn on March 8, 2015. His daughter, Laura Solomon, wrote the following at her Facebook page:
Tonight I lost my dad. We flew to New York to spend the week with him and my sister, enjoyed the day together, had dinner at our favorite grub spot. On the way home, he suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed into my arms on the sidewalk in front of my husband and children. I performed CPR with the help of a passerby and continued to assist after EMTs arrived. He died at the scene, was resuscitated, made it through an angioplasty but couldn’t stabilize afterward and passed away just before 1:00 AM.
My dad was amazing. He could drive me fucking crazy, but that didn’t make him any less essential to my life. He loved his grandkids. He loved my sister and me. He was one of the greatest trumpet players in the world and I’m so proud to be his daughter. I’m so happy to carry on a fraction of his musicality in the now rare moments that I pick up my violin.
Dad had more friends than anyone I know. He was always on the phone. Always. Even when it was totally inappropriate. He was so loved by so many. His life overflowed with people who cared for him. I am so thankful for you all.
I am devastated. I can’t picture my life or my kids’ lives without him in it. It doesn’t seem real. It’s definitely not fair. But I am so grateful to have spent my dad’s last day on Earth together in New York City.
Please keep my family in your thoughts and respect our privacy during this awful time. We’re hurting badly.
Lew Soloff performs the Hoagy Carmichael classic, “Georgia on my Mind” at the Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA. Kenny Banks on piano, Che Marshall on drums and Kevin Smith on bass. Photographed and edited by Richard Angle.
It’s never too late to learn something new. Today we will start with a matching quiz. In the left column are the names of the outstanding women who were the National Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The right column lists accomplishments.
Can you match? I could not!
Octavia E Butler
A…known for her large-scale, collaborative art installation pieces about birth, creation, and the role of women in history and culture.
B… retired from professional soccer in 2004 after seventeen years, two World Championships, two Olympic Gold Medals.
C…a multidisciplinary artist: a poet, musician, playwright, painter, and author. In her works, Harjo draws on First Nations storytelling and histories, as well as feminist, indigenous, and environmental and social justice poetic traditions.
D…known for her activism and interest in education equality, women’s rights, and the temperance movement
E…became the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level when she was promoted to senior Commanding General for logistics in Iraq.
F…became the first science-fiction writer, and one of the first Black women, to receive a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship grant.
G…during her tenure at PepsiCo, the company grew its net revenue by more than eighty percent, and PepsiCo’s total shareholder return was one hundred and sixty-two percent.
H…NASA mathematician, pioneer in racial and gender equality, and contributor to one of our nation’s first triumphs in human spaceflight
I… established herself as a strong advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. She created: Let’s Move!, a program aimed at ending childhood obesity; the Reach Higher Initiative to help students navigate and better understand job opportunities
National Women’s Hall of Fame
A group of men and women founded the National Women’s Hall of Fame on February 20, 1969 in Seneca Falls, New York. where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two renowned leaders of the US suffragette movement, organized the first Women’s Right Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
Showcasing great women
The Hall of Fame’s mission is, “Showcasing great women…Inspiring all!”
According to its site:National Women’s Hall of Fame is open on the 1st floor of the historic Seneca Knitting Mill on the Seneca-Cayuga branch of the Erie Canal in Seneca Falls, New York. Our introductory exhibits are designed to show the world our vision for the future exhibits when we complete additional renovations of the Mill, celebrate Inductees, and showcase stimulating stories of past and present hard-won achievements.
Included in the introductory exhibits is a new Hall of Fame display listing our Inductees and their areas of accomplishment that visitors can browse. There is a section called “Why Here?” highlighting why all of this history happened in Seneca Falls. We tell the story of the Seneca Knitting Mill and the women who worked there. We invite visitors to delve into the history of what happens when women innovate or lead with an interactive exhibit that challenges widely-held assumptions. Visitors can “weave” themselves into the story in a participatory exhibit, and we ask visitors for their own stories of women who have inspired them. The exhibits encourage visitors to engage in creating our future and to understand the possibility of a world where women are equal partners in leadership.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
Here is an informative 2-minute introduction about the Hall by a few of the women who are members, watch the following:
National Women’s Hall of Fame
In 1995, renowned author Octavia E. Butler became the first science-fiction writer, and one of the first Black women, to receive a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship grant. The author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Sower, a New York Times 1993 Notable Book of the Year, and recently a New York Times Bestseller, Butler was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and acute social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the near future.
Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career spans over five decades. She is known for her large-scale, collaborative art installation pieces about birth, creation, and the role of women in history and culture. Her influence goes beyond the art community, as evidenced by her inclusion in hundreds of international publications. A pioneer of feminist art, in 1974 she created her most well-known work, The Dinner Party, produced with the participation of hundreds of volunteers.
During her nearly three-decade career in the U.S. military, Rebecca “Becky” Halstead achieved multiple historic milestones. In 2004 she became the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level when she was promoted to senior Commanding General for logistics in Iraq. In this role she was responsible for leading over 200 multi-disciplined units, located across 55 different bases, providing supply, maintenance, transportation, and distribution services support to over 250,000 personnel serving in Iraq.
Hailed as a soccer icon, Mia Hamm retired from professional soccer in 2004 after seventeen years, two World Championships, two Olympic Gold Medals, all while serving as the face of not merely one sport, but rather an entire generation of female athletes. She is remembered as one of the best soccer players in history and one of the most important and recognizable female athletes of all time. In 1987, at just fifteen years old, Hamm was the youngest woman ever to play in a match for the U.S. Senior Squad, the beginning of an illustrious career of firsts.
A member of the Mvskoke Nation, Joy Harjo is a multidisciplinary artist: a poet, musician, playwright, painter, and author. In her works, Harjo draws on First Nations storytelling and histories, as well as feminist, indigenous, and environmental and social justice poetic traditions. Her poetry often centers around the need for remembrance of ancestral lands and culture, and the power of language and song to return us to a balance with the earth and her peoples. Harjo is the author of more than nine books of poetry, including An American Sunrise, two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, several children’s books, plays, and literary anthologies.
Known for her activism and interest in education equality, women’s rights, and the temperance movement, Emily Howland was a formidable woman. Born in 1827 to a family of the Society of Friends in Sherwood, NY, Howland’s valuing of human equality was encouraged by her father, Slocum, an Underground Railroad stationmaster. Throughout her life, Howland practiced the teachings of the Quaker community and continued to actively fight for equality.
NASA mathematician, pioneer in racial and gender equality, and contributor to one of our nation’s first triumphs in human spaceflight, Katherine Johnson is remembered as one of America’s most inspirational figures. In 1939, two years after graduating from the historically Black university West Virginia State University, Johnson was one of three Black students handpicked to integrate West Virginia University’s graduate school.
As a business executive and the former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s most powerful people. During her tenure at PepsiCo, the company grew its net revenue by more than eighty percent, and PepsiCo’s total shareholder return was one hundred and sixty-two percent. Under Nooyi’s leadership, PepsiCo expanded significantly, acquiring Tropicana Products, Inc., merging with Quaker Oats Company and PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers, and acquiring the Russian company Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, resulting in the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history.
Advocate, author, lawyer, and 44th First Lady of the United States—the first Black person to serve in the role—Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century. During her time in the White House, from 2009-2017, she established herself as a strong advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. As First Lady, she created: Let’s Move!, a program aimed at ending childhood obesity; the Reach Higher Initiative to help students navigate and better understand job opportunities and get the education necessary for these jobs; Joining Forces, an initiative she co-led with Dr. Jill Biden to support military veterans, service members, and military families;