Michael Clement Irving Gibbs, 25 September 1937, Harare, Zimbabwe. One of the most individual and original composers and arrangers, Gibbs has said that he began to concentrate on writing because performing solos terrified him. He studied piano between the ages of seven and 13, then took up trombone when he was 17. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1959 to study at the Berklee College Of Music (where he played and recorded with the college band organized by Herb Pomeroy) and Boston Conservatory. He also took up a scholarship at the Lenox School of Jazz in 1961, where he studied with Gunther Schuller, George Russell and J.J. Johnson. He graduated from Berklee in 1962 and the conservatory in 1963. That same year he obtained another scholarship, this time at Tanglewood, where he studied with classical composers Xenakis, Copland, Foss and Schuller again.
After this Gibbs returned to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), then in 1965 he settled in...