musicians -- fiction

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

By Linda Urban

Go to catalog
Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.
Reserve this title

Lucky Stars

By Lucy Frank

Go to catalog

Music entwines Kira, a thirteen-year-old singer who hates that her father makes her perform for money on New York City subway platforms; Eugene, the class clown; and Jake, who longs to sing and to approach Kira, but feels held back by his stuttering.

Reserve this title

Another Good Loving Blues

By Arthur Flowers

Go to catalog

"It's Beale Street in Memphis in the age when jazz was spelled 'jass' and ragtime was just a glint in Scott Joplin's eye. Lucas Bodeen is the bluesman, and Melvira Dupree is the conjure woman he loves. But pitted against them are all the forces of nature, the clashing of their own stubborn wills, and a society mired in the laws of Jim Crow and the mob. Combining the ancient African storytelling art of the griot with the American offshoots of blues and hoodoo, Arthur Flowers sings us a story that makes us smile - a story of life, and how love and happiness really happen."

Reserve this title

Swing by Rupert Holmes

Swing, by Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes’ Swing has more than a touch of noir—and its own soundtrack. Set in San Francisco in 1940, vagabond jazz musician Ray Sherwood has been made a very interesting proposition. A beautiful, young Berkley music student wants him in a most peculiar way. She’s won an international contest for composers, and her piece needs to premiere at the Golden Gate Exposition in just a few weeks. What she needs from Ray are his talents to orchestrate her music for many instruments. Ray is enchanted by Gail’s breezy joie de vivre and her snappy patter even as his own troubled past makes him hesitate. But the tenor veers from sweet romance to dangerous liaison when a lovely woman plunges to her death mere feet from the happy couple, changing this composition’s theme from serenade to police siren.

No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew it Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again

By Edgardo Vega Yunqué

Go to catalog
"An epic novel of jazz, race and the effects of war on an American family This sweeping drama of intimately connected families --black, white, and Latino-- boldly conjures up the ever-shifting cultural mosaic that is America. At its heart is Vidamia Farrell, half Puerto Rican, half Irish, who sets out in search of the father she has never known. Her journey takes her from her affluent home to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where her father Billy Farrell now lives with his second family. Once a gifted jazz pianist, Billy lost two fingers in the Vietnam War and has since shut himself off from jazz.

"In this powerful modern odyssey, VidamÍa struggles to bring her father back to the world of jazz. Her quest gives her a new understanding of family, particularly through her half-sisters Fawn, a lonely young poet plagued with a secret, and Cookie, a sassy, streetsmart homegirl who happens to be "white." And when VidamÍa becomes involved with a young African-American jazz saxophonist, she is forced to explore her own complex roots, along with the dizzying contradictions of race etched in the American psyche. Edgardo Vega YunquÉ vividly captures the myriad voices of our American idiom like a virtuoso spinning out a series of expanding riffs, by turns lyrical, deadly, flippant, witty, and haunting."

Reserve this title

A Simple Habana Melody (From When the World Was Good)

By Oscar Hijuelos

Go to catalog
"It is 1947 and Israel Levis, a Cuban composer whose life had once been a dream of music, love and sadness, is returning to Habana, Cuba, from Spain, where he has just recovered from the physical and spiritual malaise resulting from his experiences in Paris, then Buchenwald, during the Nazi occupation of France. (A devout Catholic, Levis had been mistakenly identified as a Jew because of his name.)

"When Levis arrives back in Habana, after an absence of many years, his mind is reeling with beautiful memories of his life in Cuba and in Paris before the war, a life of pleasure and excitement that he owes, in part, to an unrequited, nearly 'chivalrous' romance with a certain Rita Valladares, a singer for whom Levis had written his most famous song, 'Rosas Puras,' or 'Pretty Roses.' This 1928 composition becomes the most famous rumba in the world and changes both American and European tastes in music and dance -- forever; and it is the song, symbolic of the composer's love for Rita Valladares, that sets Levis's life in Europe in motion. This is at once a love story -- for art, family and country -- as well as a portrait of Habana at the turn of the last century, when 'the world was good.'"

Reserve this title

The Wishbones

By Tom Perrotta

Go to catalog
A thirty-one-year-old rock 'n' roll guitarist decides to get married, only to begin an affair with Gretchen, a New York poet. He finds himself torn between letting his dreams die and having a steady gig.
Reserve this title

Rhode Island Red

By Charlotte Carter

Go to catalog

Nanette Hayes is a former child prodigy with a Master's degree in French, but earns her living playing saxophone for spare change on New York's funkiest, meanest streets...Suddenly, the law is on her case, a jazz-loving gangster is making moves on her heart, her buppie boyfriend wants to tie the knot, and Nanette finds herself on the trail of one of the music world's greatest mysteries.

Reserve this title

Death of a Tenor Man

By Bill Moody

Go to catalog

"Tenor sax player Wardell Gray died in Vegas back in the fifties, but his legend lives on. Moonlighting from his job playing piano at the Fashion Show Mall, Evan Horne is doing a favor for a scholar by asking questions about Wardell Gray's death. As Evan circles in on a little-known history of a 1950s black jazz club, the heat, glitz, and pay-back of Vegas come down hard--with the power to swing, smoke, and kill."

Reserve this title