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Marian McPartland

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Marian McPartland, born Margaret Marian Turner on March 21, 1918 in England near Slough, Buckinghamshire, is a British jazz pianist. Dave Brubeck called her one of the top 3 all-time best pianists.

She was a musical prodigy from the time she could sit at the piano, about the age of three. She studied classical music, and, in addition to piano, has mastered the violin.

She pursued classical studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London. While enrolled there in 1938, she left to join The Claviers, a four-piano vaudeville act, performing under the stage name Marian Page. The group toured throughout Europe during World War II, entertaining Allied troops.

While touring with USO shows in Belgium, she met and began to play with a Chicago cornetist named Jimmy McPartland in 1943. The two were married and performed at their own wedding at a military base in Germany.

The couple moved to Chicago after the war until they moved to Manhattan in 1949. With Jimmy's help and encouragement, she started her own trio in 1952 and began a long residency at the famous New York jazz nightclub, the Hickory House from 1952-1960.

She began her own record label, Halcyon Records, and gradually began recording her own compositions, along with solo and ensemble works by others. Famous compositions include "There'll Be Other Times," "Twilight World," and "In the Days of Our Love."

In 1978, she began hosting her own radio program on National Public Radio, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, which, after more than 25 years, is the longest running cultural program on NPR.

McPartland is committed to music education and was inducted in the International Association of Jazz Education Hall of Fame in 1986. She has received honorary degrees from Bates College, Bowling Green State University, Hamilton College, Union College, and the University of South Carolina.

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