Bix Beiderbecke

Topics: Bix Beiderbecke, Jazz, Paul Whiteman Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: February 26, 2012
The virtuoso Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in 1903 and died young in 1931. Though his life was short, Bix’s legacy was long-live. He was raised in Davenport, Iowa, by his mother Agatha and father Bismark. He was the youngest of the German middle class family, his father owned a lumber & coal company in east davenport while his mother was a pianist. As a boy, Bix Beiderbecke had a few piano lessons, but he was self-taught on cornet and developed an unorthodox technique by playing. He was blessed with the gift of a musical ear which helped him greatly throughout his career because he was not able to read music very well. Growing up Bix found his passion, which was to become a musician, it seemed that he would not let anything stop him from achieving his goal. His family disapproved of his interest and sent him to Lake Forest Academy in which they hoped it would control and change him to become discipline and successful. Bix headstrong in following through with his goal led him to start skipping class to go hear the musicians play in Chicago. Soon after bix was expelled from Lake Forrest and began to his career as a full time musician. Beiderbecke arrived on Chicago's "hot" jazz scene at about the same time as musicians such as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. In Chicago Beiderbecke was already gaining a reputation for his improvisational "play around the note" style and his unique tone, and he found work, first with The Wolverines and then with the respected Jean Goldkette Orchestra. This was a good job, but he lost it after only a few months because he couldn't read music well enough to keep up with a hectic professional band's recording schedule. This is where Bix gift for his musical ear could not help him. Attempting to remedy the situation, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, signing up for several music classes. But he refused to take a required religion and ethics course, consistently missed classes, and picked a drunken fight with...
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