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Terry Gibbs

Terry Gibbs began his career at the age of 12 after winning the Major Bowes Amateur Hour Contest and subsequently began touring professionally. He spent many years as a drummer and percussionist playing gigs until his affinity for bebop motivated him to turn down a scholarship to Julliard as a timpanist and return to the vibes. Six decades of inspirational vibe playing and technique, Gibbs is recognized as one of the best ever to grace the genre of bop.

After World War II, Gibbs toured with Chubby Jackson, Buddy Rich and Woody Herman. He co-led a sextet with Louie Bellson and Charlie Shavers; and in 1950, he formed his own band for Mel Torme's TV show. In 1951, he joined the Benny Goodman Sextet. Subsequently, he toured with his own band where he won acclaim as “# 1 Vibraphonist in the world,” in both the down beat and Metronome polls from 1950 to 1955. Gibbs also played a role in breaking down the sex barrier in music, using pianists Terry Pollard, who he often featured in vibe duos, and Alice McLeod, who later married John Coltrane.

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