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3 Famous Musicians You’ve Got To Know: Jazz Violinists


1. Joe Venuti (September 1903 to August 1978)

His real name was Giuseppe Venuti. He was the son of an immigrant couple who had traveled from Italy to the United States in the early 1900s. No one knows his exact birth date because there are conflicting reports about his birth. For example, some say Lecco, Italy is his birthplace while others say Philadelphia, US is where his birth took place.

Venuti was an excellent jazz violinist. In fact, many of his contemporaries referred to him as the Father of Jazz Violin. He always favored a fast and lively tempo. Moreover, he was a man who loved playing pranks on his fellow musicians. For example, there was a time when he called all the bass players in New York for a meeting. Fifty of them showed up to this non-existent meeting.


2. Stephane Grappelli (January 26, 1908, to December 1, 1997)

Stephane was an Italian citizen, but his father had him naturalized as a French national after the Second World War. His father did so because the actions of the Italian army during the global conflict disgusted him. You should note that Stephane stayed in Paris, France while his father fought in the war as an Italian conscript. Stephane’s love for French impressionist music blossomed at this time. His father bought him a violin soon after the war ended. Eventually, Stephane would become a remarkable jazz violinist. In fact, music enthusiasts refer to him as the grandpa of jazz violinists.


3. Johnny Frigo (December 27, 1916, to July 4, 2007)

Frigo studied the violin for three years when he was in elementary school, but he started playing bass when he joined high school. He continued playing it until the 1980s when he reverted to the violin. This decision worked out well for him. More specifically, he became a renowned jazz violinist who performed at various festivals. These festivals included the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Umbria Jazz Festival. He battled cancer in his late years, but he died at the age of ninety from complications caused by a fall.


Keep reading: “Inspiration from the Life of Niccolo Paganini”>>

Read on: “3 Tips to motivate your child to practice violin”>>

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