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 Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins

Birth
Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Death 19 May 1969 (aged 64)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Yew Plot
Memorial ID 9374241 · View Source
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Jazz Musician. An acclaimed tenor saxophonist, he was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, he began piano lessons at the age of five; learned cello and at age nine took up the tenor saxophone; and studied music theory Washburn College in Topeka. From age 14, he was playing professionally in eastern Kansas. He joined Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra in 1924 along with Louis Armstrong. In his ten years with the band he transformed the tenor sax from a novelty instrument into an instrument for the powerful and suave solos that were the essence of swing and bringing its popularity up to that of the clarinet. He almost single-handedly changed perceptions of the sax and its role in jazz. Successful in Europe during 1930's he was forced to return to America after encountering the Nazis' racial restrictions. His 1939 "Body and Soul" became a standard for jazz ballad improvisation, and remains one of the milestone records in jazz history to this day. Down Beat magazine readers voted him "best tenor saxophonist" for his powerful swing style. He was one of the few Hot Jazz musicians who made the shift to Be Bop in the Forties. He hired an unknown Thelonius Monk for his quartet in 1944, and also hired Miles Davis and Max Roach to play on his bands early in their careers. His last concert was in April 1969 at the North Park Hotel in Chicago. He died of pneumonia in New York City.

Bio by: Fred Beisser


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Fred Beisser
  • Added: 28 Aug 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9374241
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Coleman Hawkins (21 Nov 1904–19 May 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9374241, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .