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Ziggy Elman

Harry Aaron Finkelman, better known by the stage name Ziggy Elman, was an American jazz trumpeter most associated with Benny Goodman, though he also led his own Ziggy Elman and His Orchestra.

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but his family settled in Atlantic City when he was four. His father was a violinist who had hoped Harry would play violin as well. Although he did learn to play the violin, Harry preferred the brass instruments. He began playing for Jewish weddings and nightclubs at age 15, and in 1932 made his first recording where he played trombone. At some point in the decade he adopted the name Ziggy Elman. Elman is a shortening of Finkelman while “Ziggy” is believed to be a reference to Florenz Ziegfeld.

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