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Benny Waters

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Biography

Benny Waters (born Benjamin Waters; January 23, 1902, Brighton, Baltimore, Maryland – August 11, 1998, Columbia, Maryland) was a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist.

He began on organ, then switched to clarinet and later added saxophone. The first band he joined in 1918 was Charly Miller’s band. In 1922 he attended the New England Conservatory of Music where he gave lessons to Harry Carney. From 1926 till 1931 he joined Charly Johnson ‘s band. Later on he worked with King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson, Claude Hopkins, and others.( Hot Lips Page ) In these years he made several recordings with King Oliver and Clarence williams. During 1941-1942 he played with the famous Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra. After that he started his own band and played at the “Red Mill” in New York. After NY he stayed for four years in California. From 1952 to 1992 he lived in Paris and in 1996 received the Legion of Honor by the French Ministry of Culture. He is known in part for the longevity of his career. He continued to perform regularly up to his 95th birthday. Waters became blind in 1992 due to cataract.

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