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Tadd Dameron

Tadd Dameron as a composer and arranger was the man who in the 1940s and ‘50s was among the first to use the sometimes raw and undisciplined devices of the then- new style of jazz called bebop in well-developed arrangements for big bands and small groups. Perhaps more than any other musician, Dameron added form to the then-emerging style of bop.

Born in Cleveland in 1917, Dameron grew up with music all around him, his mother first taught him to play piano, “not to read, but by memory.” But, it was Dameron’s older brother, Caesar, a saxophonist, who got his brother interested in jazz by listening to the records of the big bands of the 1930’s like Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, and the Casa Loma band that was playing unique arrangements at the time.

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