Toots Thielemans

Solo Artist

Died: 2016-08-22
Age: 94
Cause: Unknown

I usually put pop and rock artists here, but Toots was a fantastic musician and he needs to be on this list. Toots Thielemans, one of the only musicians to have a successful career as a jazz harmonica player, died Aug 22nd in Brussels. He was 94. He also played guitar and whistling. He introduced this combination in 1961 on his recording “Bluesette,” which he wrote. Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidore Thielemans was born on April 29, 1922 in Brussels. Toots played with a lot of great musicians around the world, like Benny Goodman, Zoot Sims, Ella Fitzgerald, Jaco Pastorius, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and many, many others. My father also produced some albums with Toots. John Lennon bought his first Rickenbacker 325 guitar after seeing Thielemans play it during a 1959 concert. Mr. Thielemans became an American citizen in 1957, which, at the time, meant the mandatory loss of his Belgian citizenship. But it was regained in 2001, when Belgian King Albert II named the musician a baron.

Photo: Unknown

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