Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8, 1907: Benny Carter born in Harlem

On this day in 1907, an American jazz legend breathed his first breath. Benny Carter's first encounter with music was on the piano that his mom played and taught him. Starting from the time he was only 15 years old he would frequently sit in at Harlem night spots. He spent time honing his craft by acting as a sideman in top New York City bands. In addition to playing the saxophone, trumpet and clarinet, he proved to have a great talent in song writing and arranging. Over the course of his long and illustrious life, he worked with the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Mile Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles. He passed away at the age of 95 on July 12, 2003 but left a mark on the music industry that will never be forgotten, especially by his many peers who referred to him simply as "King."

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