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Stan Getz

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Stan Getz (Stanley Gayetzky, February 2, 1927 Philadelphia – June 6, 1991 Malibu, California) was an American jazz tenor saxophone player. Known as “The Sound” because of his warm, lyrical tone, Getz’s prime influence was the wispy, mellow tone of his idol, Lester Young.

His parents were Ukrainian Jews who immigrated from Kiev city, Ukraine in 1903. The family later moved to New York City for better jobs. Stan worked hard in school receiving straight “A’s” on average and finished 6th grade close to the top of his class. Stan’s major interest was in musical instruments, and he felt a need to play every instrument in his sight. He played a number of instruments before his father bought him his first saxophone at the age of 13. Even though his father also got him a clarinet, Stan instantly fell in love with the saxophone and began practicing 8 hours a day. In 1941, he was accepted into the All City High School Orchestra of New York City. This gave Stan a chance to receive a private, free tutor from the New York Philharmonic, Simon Kovar - a bassoon player. He also began to spend more time playing the saxophone. He eventually dropped out of school in order to pursue his musical career, but was later sent back to the classroom by the school system’s truancy officers.

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