Stan Getz

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Stanley Getz was born on February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a jazz saxophone player. Getz was renowned for the unique sound he created with his saxophone and was given the nickname “the sound” as a result. Getz got his start, and came into prominence, in the 1940s as a player in Woody Herman's big band. Getz incorporated bebop, and jazz into his style of playing and was known for popularizing bossa nova. Getz's was drawn to all sorts of musical instruments from an early age, and was compelled by the sound each one made. By the time he was thirteen years old, Getz had mastered a number of musical instruments, but felt an affinity for the saxophone. Getz's mother brought him his own saxophone around this time and he dedicated himself to hours and hours of practice on a daily basis.

Getz attended the All City High School Orchestra of New York City, which earned him private tutoring lessons from Simon Kovers, a bassoon player for New York Philharmonic Orchestra. By the age of sixteen, Getz had dropped out of school to pursue a career in music. Getz's musical career began with Jack Teagarden's band, and led to working with the likes of Nat King Cole, Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman. In 1947 Getz was hired a soloist with Woody Herman, who he played with until 1949. This is where Getz began to be exposed to the public on a larger scale and build a strong following. By the 1950s Getz had broken out on his own and launched his solo career. Getz also furthered his public profile by collaborating with other artists, such as Horace Silver, Johnny Smith, and Oscar Peterson, whom he played 'cool jazz' with. From there, Getz, went on to become a big band leader; one of his first two quintets including working with Charlie Parker, Roy Haynes, Al Haig and Tommy Potter. 1953 saw Getz work with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie as part of a sextet featuring Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Max Roach, and himself.

After Getz' time in Europe he became instrumental in introducing bossa nova music to American audiences in 1961. 1962 marked a collaboration with Charlie Byrd, and the recording of “Jazz Samba,” which became a hit with fans and critics alike. The track, “Desafinado,” off the album earned Getz a Grammy Award for 'Best Jazz Performance' in 1963. The album reached gold status and sold over one million copies. “Jazz Samba Encore!” quickly followed, and was also a huge success. Another Grammy Award came Getz’s way for the track, “The Girl from Ipanema,” off the 1963 album, “Getz/Gilberto.” Getz went on to record a number of albums and collaborate with numerous over the next ten years; by the mid-1980s Getz was teaching at Stanford University at the Jazz workshop until 1988. That same year Getz worked with Huey Lewis and the News on their “Small World” album, and passed away from liver cancer three years later in 1991.

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