Bix Beiderbecke

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Beiderbecke, Bix

(Leon Bismarck Beiderbecke) (bī`dərbĕk), 1903–31, American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer, b. Davenport, Iowa. Mainly self-taught, he was influenced by recordings of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and by the music of King OliverOliver, King
(Joseph Oliver), 1885–1938, American jazz musician, b. Abend, La. Oliver began his professional career in 1904 with the Onward Brass Band. After playing with leading bands in New Orleans and establishing himself as a master cornetist, he moved to Chicago in
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, Louis ArmstrongArmstrong, Louis
(Daniel Louis Armstrong), known as "Satchmo" and "Pops," 1901–1971, American jazz trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader, b. New Orleans. He learned to play the cornet in the band of the Waif's Home in New Orleans, and after playing with Kid Ory's
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, and Jimmie Noone. His cornet playing, noted for its brilliant phrasing and its clarity of tone, soon won him a reputation. A sensitive, lonely man driven by artistic ambition, he was forced to play in the large commercial bands. Unhappy and restless, he changed jobs often, drank heavily, was frequently ill, and finally died of pneumonia. His piano compositions, including In a Mist, were influenced by DebussyDebussy, Claude Achille
, 1862–1918, French composer, exponent of musical impressionism. He studied for 11 years at the Paris Conservatory, receiving its Grand Prix de Rome in 1884 for his cantata L'Enfant Prodigue.
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.

Bibliography

See C. H. Wareing and G. Garlick, Bugles for Beiderbecke (1958); biographies by B. James (1961) and R. M. Sudhalter and P. R. Evans (1974).

Beiderbecke, (Leon) Bix

(1903–31) jazz musician; born in Davenport, Iowa. He was a cornetist, pianist, and composer whose meteoric career began in 1923 with the Wolverines and continued with Jean Goldkette, Frankie Trumbauer, Paul Whiteman, and Glen Gray. He was the first important white jazz artist. His early death from pneumonia, complicated by alcoholism, fueled his legend as the romanticized figure depicted in the novel Young Man With a Horn (1938).