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Bix Beiderbecke: An Influential Jazz Singer

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One of the most outstanding and talented jazz cornet players was Bix Beiderbecke. Some rumors were going around about his real name, but nothing was true. He was born in Daventport, Iowa from a middle-class family.

Since his early years, he loved to see and listen to the bands of Mississippi playing on the riverboats. His academic performance seemed affected because of disease. For this reason, his parents decided to send him to Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, so that he would receive the appropriate and necessary discipline and attention. But, his major interest was sports and music; therefore, he started going to Chicago in order to know the hot jazz bands at clubs and surrounding this place. Nevertheless, his academic failings and out of class activities forced him to leave to the Academy, thus giving him the opportunity to start his musical career.

At the beginning of his career, Beiderbecke was mainly influenced by New Orleans jazz cornetists such as Nick LaRocca of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Joe “King” Olivier, Louis Armstrong, and the clarinetist Leon Roppolo. In addition, many acquaintances think that the early recordings of Beiderbecke with The Wolverines have a lot of Emmett Hardy’s influence. He was also influenced by compositions such as Maurice Ravel, Eastwood Lane and Claude Debussy. Together with Frankie Trumbauer and Jean Goldkette Orchestra, he recorded some innovative and creative songs.

Another of his facets was writing piano compositions that were later recorded by different people. The real causes of his death were never revealed because he suffered from different health problems since an early age. After dying, some white musicians, black players and notably trumpeters replaced Bix because they were influenced by his music style.

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