Roger Dickerson

Roger Donald Dickerson is an American composer and jazz pianist. He began piano lessons at the age of 8 and also learnt to play brass instruments at a young age. A relative, Wallace Davenport, who played in the Lionel Hampton Band, furnished him with a basic knowledge of harmony, counterpoint and orchestration. He went on to study at Dillard University (BMus 1955) and Indiana University (MM 1957), where his teachers included Bernhard Heiden. During military service Roger Dickerson continued to perform, compose and arrange music. A Fulbright Fellowship enabled him to pursue further study at the Vienna Academy of Music under Schiske and Uhl. In 1975 he co-founded the Creative Arts Alliance. He has taught at Southern University, New Orleans, and served as a consultant in the humanities for the Institute for Services to Education. Among his honours are a John Hay Whitney Fellowship and the Louis Armstrong Memorial Award. His works feature polyphonic textures, dissonant chordal structures and elements derived from jazz and the blues. He is the subject of the 1978 PBS documentary New Orleans Concerto.