Toots Thielemans

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About Toots Thielemans

A child prodigy, Toot Thielemans played the accordion at the age of three, switching to harmonica (and guitar) in his mid-teens. Guitar aside, Thielemans' chosen instruments were not especially suited to jazz, but he displayed enough invention and assurance to be hired by Benny Goodman for a European tour in 1950, afterwards joining George Shearing in 1953 for a five-year stint. In the '60s, his popularity increased with a successful recording of his own composition, "Bluesette," and he worked frequently in clubs in Europe and the U.S. and at international festivals. He subsequently played with leading artists such as Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie, and contributed to many film soundtracks, including Breakfast at Tiffany's and Midnight Cowboy.

Brussels, Belgium
April 29, 1922
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