Jane Nossette Jarvis (October 31, 1915 – January 25, 2010) was an American jazz pianist. She was also known for her work as a composer, a baseball stadium organist and a recording industry executive.
Jarvis was born in Vincennes, Indiana, to Charles and Luella Nossette. She was recognized as a piano prodigy at the age of five and she studied under a Vincennes University professor as a young girl. Her family moved to Gary, Indiana soon afterward, and Jarvis was hired to play the piano at radio station WJKS in Gary in 1927.
The station gave her a job as accompanist to performers who came in to promote their local appearances. Singers, including the famed black singer Ethel Waters, were startled to find their accompanist was a 12-year- old white girl, who was, according to Miss Jarvis, ''a very runty kid.''
At the age of 13, she was orphaned when her parents died in a train-auto wreck and she returned to Vincennes, graduating from high school in 1932. By then, she had already studied music at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, the Bush Conservatory of Music, Loyola University Chicago and DePauw University.
By 1954, Jarvis was on television at station WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, hosting a show called "Jivin' with Jarvis" while serving as staff pianist and organist. At the time, the Milwaukee Braves had just relocated from Boston and sought out Jarvis to be the organist at Milwaukee County Stadium.
“I wasn’t a sports fan, and I was uncertain about doing it,” she told The New York Times in 1984. “But money overcame my worries.” Jarvis stayed with the Braves for eight seasons and then went to New York City, where she took a position with the Muzak Corporation as a staff composer and arranger. She would rise to become a corporate vice-president and its director of recording and programming.
In 1964, she was hired by the New York Mets to play the organ at Shea Stadium. She is remembered at Shea for playing the Mets theme song, "Meet The Mets", music and lyrics by Ruth Roberts & Bill Katz (1961) and debuting in the 1963 season before every home game followed by the Jarvis composed "Let's Go Mets", as the team took the field, as well as, for her renditions of the Mexican Hat Dance during the seventh-inning stretch.
Here's "Where or When" from above album.
One goal of the Statesmen is to present the wonders of jazz music to young audiences across the United States. The Statesmen have also travelled abroad, performing in Japan, among other places.
Jarvis released several albums of her jazz piano work, including Jane Jarvis Jams (1995) and Atlantic/Pacific (2000). In addition to Hinton, Jarvis has often collaborated with trombonist Benny Powell and bassist Earl May. As a member of ASCAP, she also had over three hundred compositions to her credit.
|Jane, aged 92 with Benny Powell|
Jarvis spent the final years of her life and died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey. She was 94. She was survived by a son, Brian, a daughter, Jeanne, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (Info mainly edited from Wikipedia)
Jane and Jim play around at the piano at the Manassas Jazz Festival, 30 November, 1986.