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Charlie Banacos

BANACOS, Jazz Guru Charlie Of Gloucester, Dec. 8, 2009, 63, passed away following a brief battle with cancer. He was a pianist, composer, author and educator, concentrating on jazz. He created over 100 courses of study for improvisation and composition. His concepts of teaching and his courses have influenced educators since the late 1950s. He is the original author of courses named "Hexatonics", "Intervallics", "Tetratonics", "Superimpositions", "Harps", "Overlaps", "Bitonal Pendulums", "Double Mambos", "Twenty-third Chords" "Tonal Paralypsis", and "Triad Pairs," among others. These and many of his other terms for his courses have become part of the basic lexicon in jazz education. The ear-training methods he devised specifically for the improvising musician are imitated in college courses and ear-training routines by many educators around the world. His exercises have been used at such institutions as Berklee College of Music, The New School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Longy School of Music among others. At the time of his death, Mr. Banacos was in the process of consolidating many of his courses along with the assistance of his daughter, pianist Barbara Banacos. When guitarist Mike Stern showed his employer, Miles Davis, some of Banacos' ear-training exercises, Davis stated "I know that Banacos. Give me his telephone number. I'm gonna get me some lessons." Michael Brecker once said of Banacos "He's some kind of genius." His students have performed or recorded with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, David Liebman, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson, among others. His students and musical associates include Mike Stern, Danilo Perez, Wayne Krantz, Jeff Berlin, Garry Dial, Gerard D'Angelo, Vic Juris, Daryl Rhodes, Michael Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Marilyn Crispell, Leni Stern, Rachel Z among many others. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, two sons and daughter-in-law, Peter and Jennifer Banacos of Milton, VT, and Paul Banacos of Glucester; two daughters and son-in-law, Barbara Banacos of Lexington and Christina and Ross Ackley of Dover, MA; 3 grandchildren, George, Julia, and Emily Banacos; brother of Paul & his wife Trish Banacos of Dracut, and Marguerite & her husband George Salpas of Tyngsboro; brother-in-law of Linda & her husband William Welch of Sonoma, CA, and he leaves many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death, besides his parents, by a brother George Banacos. A visitation will be held on Friday from 4 - 8 PM in the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St. location, PEABODY. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to his Funeral Service at 12 Noon in St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 7 Paleologos St., Peabody. Burial will be private. Memorial donations may be made to "Cancer Research", c/o MGH Development Office, 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114. Please visit www.ccbfuneral.com for online obit, sign condolences, or directions to our facility.

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