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Gerald Joseph "Gerry" Mulligan (New York City, 1927 – april 6, Darien, 20 January 1996) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and arranger.  He is considered to be one of the leading baritone saxophonists in jazz history, especially from the period of the cool jazz. He has worked with, among others, Claude Thornhill, Miles Davis, Stan Kenton and Chet Baker. Mulligan was also a skilled pianist.
Mulligan was born in Queens, the son of George and Louise Mulligan. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was half-Irish, half-German. Mulligan had three older brothers: George, Phil and Don. George Mulligan worked as a mechanic, whereby the family often had to move.
To help her with raising her children, hired Mulligans mother a African-American nanny named Lily Rose. At her home he became acquainted with piano music. He also made at her home to know some African-American musicians.
At the age of fourteen, Mulligan began playing clarinet. Mulligan also began playing saxophone professionally in dance bands. During his stay at the West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys founded Gerry a big band on for students. To do this, he wrote songs. He made the high school not because he wanted to build a career at rather a touring band. After three months travelling with a band, Mulligan went to work with Lawrence Elliot.
In January 1946 Mulligan moved to New York City, where he joined the band Gene Krupa 's added.
In september 1948 Mulligan for a band formed by Miles Davis. This band played a handful of live shows. The group released an album titled Birth of the Cool. Between 1949 and 1951 Mulligan played a few times with trombonist Kai Winding. In september 1951, Mulligan his first, self-titled album on: Mulligan Plays Mulligan.
In the spring of 1952, Mulligan with his girlfriend, pianist Gail Madden, to Los Angeles. Here he was able to work as an arranger for Stan Kenton Orchestra. While at Caltech Delbrück became Chet Baker, Bob Whitlock and Chico Hamilton . Together they founded a music Quartet, which was best known for their improvisations on the field of jazz. To the existence of the Group abruptly came to an end when Mulligan in 1953 was arrested for drug possession. He was a prison sentence of six months.
After his imprisonment put the Mulligan Quartet with trombonist Bob Brookmeyer as a replacement for Baker. This Quartet remained the core of Mulligans bands and music formations during the 1950s. Other artists who were often played Jon Eardley, Art Farmer, Al Cohn , Zoot Simsand Lee Konitz. Mulligan also arranged solo played on festivals.
In the spring of 1960 Mulligan formed his first "Concert Jazz Band '. This band was an attempt by Mulligan to the old big band to breathe new life into genre in a smaller size. The size and members of the band ranged greatly over time. The band remained active until 1964, and published five albums under the label Verve records.
Mulligan created his most significant work In 1971 for a big band: The album ' The Age of Steam '.
During the 1970s and 1980s kept Mulligan is also engaged in music for orchestras. So he tried to promote a repertoire of baritone saxophone music for orchestras. In 1973 he wrote together with Frank Proto a saxophone concerto that was performed during the Cincinnati Symphony. In June 1984, Mulligan with his first orchestral work: Entente for Baritone Saxophone and Orchestra, performed with the Filarmonia Venetia.
Mulligan remained the rest of his life engaged in both jazz and orchestral music. In June 1988, he was invited on the Glasgow International Jazz Festival.
Mulligans last work was Dragonfly, recorded in the summer of 1995. Mulligan died on January 20, 1996 from complications of liver cancer and complications that had occurred after a knee operation.
- 1981 Grammy Award
- Grammy nominations for the albums The Age of Steam, For an Unfinished Woman and Soft Lights and Sweet Music
- 1982 the Birth of the Cool album comes in the Grammy Hall of Fame
- 1982 Connecticut Arts Award
- 1984 Viotti Prize (Vercelli, Italy)
- 1984 Recording in the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame
- 1988 Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University
- 1989 receives the keys to the city of Trieste, Italy
- 1990 Philadelphia Music Foundation Hall of Fame
- 1991 American Jazz Hall of Fame
- 1992 Lionel Hampton School of Music Hall of Fame
- 1992 guest composer on the Mertens Contemporary American composer's Festival, University of Bridgeport, Connecticut
- 1994 Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame
- 1995 Artists Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors for the Performing Arts