Galt MacDermot (1928-2018). Two-time Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer Galt MacDermot is best known for the music he wrote for the Broadway scores of HAIR and Two Gentlemen of Verona. He garnered his first Grammy for the song “African Waltz” in 1960. His work spans the gamut of performing arts: musicals, ballet scores, film scores, chamber music, the Anglican liturgy, orchestral, poetry, drama accompaniments, band repertory and opera. His work encompasses a wealth of musical genres, crossing the boundaries of jazz, folk, funk, gospel, reggae and classical styles.
The son of a Canadian diplomat, Galt was born and raised in Montreal. He received a Bachelor of Music from Cape Town University, South Africa. Based on his traditional training, he wrote his own arrangements. He moved to New York in 1964 and, three years later, wrote the music for the landmark Broadway production HAIR, which he later adapted for the screen. He formed the New Pulse Band in 1979, which features his original music played by some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Bernard Purdie and Wilbur Bascomb.
Galt’s music is consistently sampled by hip hop and rap artists who find his rhythms perfect for setting their lyrics to, as in Run DMC’s Grammy Award-winning “Down With The King” and Billboard’s top chart-buster, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check” by Busta Rhymes.
Galt MacDermot wrote more than 3,000 songs over his lifetime. His music is listened to and enjoyed in 179 countries worldwide, and HAIR has been performed constantly since its inception in over 40 countries worldwide.
Galt MacDermot is music.