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Dick Twardzik

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Biography

Richard Twardzik (April 30, 1931 in Danvers, Massachusetts – October 21, 1955 in Paris) was a jazz pianist, known for bebop, who worked in Boston for the bulk of his career.

He trained in classical piano as a child, and made his professional debut at 14. He was taught by prominent Boston piano teacher Margaret Chaloff, mother of baritone saxophone player Serge Chaloff, in whose group Twardzik recorded, in addition to one led by Charlie Mariano. Twardzik also worked with Charlie Parker on several occasions toward the end of Parker’s life when he was performing locally.

Twardzik became addicted to heroin as a teenager. He died from a heroin overdose while on a European tour with Chet Baker.

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