Tommy Flanagan

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About Tommy Flanagan

Tommy Flanagan began playing piano as a child, making his professional debut while still a teenager. In his mid-twenties he relocated to New York and before too long had a gig at the iconic Birdland. From the mid-'50s he continued his support role, working with Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins and Tony Bennett before teaming up with Ella Fitzgerald, for whom he was accompanist for the greater part of the '60s and '70s. In the late-'70s, Flanagan finally made the break from his back-up role and gained acclaim as both small group leader and soloist, fame which stayed with him through the '80s and into the '90s. Though his playing was often deeply introspective, Flanagan’s varied experience and stylistic grace helped make him a major player on the international stage.

Detroit, MI, United States
March 16, 1930

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