Irving Fazola

Irving Fazola

Birth
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 20 Mar 1949 (aged 36)
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Plot Private
Memorial ID 9953672 · View Source
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Jazz Musician. A clarinetist and saxophonist, he became a New Orleans folk hero. Faz," as the Jazz World knew him, studied clarinet with Jean Paquay, a conservatory-trained musician from Brussels. Paquay had come to New Orleans in 1909 to play in the orchestra at the French Opera House. When he began to give music lessons, one of his students was Irving Prestopnik. Some believe that Paquay's famous student got his nickname from being constantly told to play "Do-re-mi-fa-sol-la ..." Others claim that Irving was given his stage name by fellow New Orleanian Louis Prima. A graduate of Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, he played with some of the best bands in the country, including Bob Crosby, Phil Harris, Horace Heidt, Gus Arnheim, Claude Thornhill, Teddy Powell and Benny Pollack. In 1939 and 1940, he was rated the No. 1 clarinetist in the nation. In 1940 and 1941, he won the Down Beat poll for "Best Jazz Clarinetist," beating out superstars Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. After seven years away, Faz returned in poor health to New Orleans in 1942. New Orleans jazz musician Pete Fountain gives much credit to Irving Fazola for his wonderful clarinet sound. When Fountain took up the clarinet as a young man, he spent many hours listening to recordings of Faz's music. And when Pete Fountain himself attended Warren Easton and joined the band, he told people that he had learned how to play from Irving Fazola. Faz ola died of a heart attack at home at the age of 36 on the evening he was to lead the "Dixieland Jamboree" at the French Quarter's Parisian Room. Members of his local jazz band were pallbearers at his funeral.

Bio by: K. Jacob Ruppert


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: K. Jacob Ruppert
  • Added: 25 Nov 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9953672
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Irving Fazola (12 Dec 1912–20 Mar 1949), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9953672, citing Saint Vincent de Paul Cemetery #1, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .