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Bobby Hackett was born under the name of Robert Leo Hackett on the 31st January, 1915 in Providence , Rhode Island. Bobby, who was later to become the most important white representative of Dixieland jazz, learned banjo, guitar and violin as a child. He left school at 14 and played from then on with local dance orchestras.

He eventually learned the trumpet and performed at the beginning of his career with Pee Wee Russel and Teddy Roy in Boston. He turned professional on trumpet a short time later - whereby he played guitar parallel thoughout his entire career - and took over the band of Herbie Marsh.

Hackett went to New York in 1937 where he replaced Eddie Condon in Joe Marsala's band, and was celebrated as the new star soloist. He appeared with his own bands in various clubs on 52nd Street, the stamping ground of New York jazz musicians.

Alongside Bix Beiderbecke, his greatest idol, Hackett was regarded as the most important representative of the Dixieland era, and also influenced musicians who had turned to Modern Jazz. Bobby Hackett died of a heart attack on the 7th June, 1976 in Chatham, Massachusetts.

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