Joe Venuti (possibly September 16, 1903 – August 14, 1978) was an Italian-American jazz musician and pioneer jazz violinist.
Eddie Lang (October 25, 1902 – March 26, 1933) was an American jazz guitarist, regarded by some as the Father of Jazz Guitar.
Giuseppe "Joe" Venuti, considered the father of jazz violin, pioneered the use of string instruments in jazz along with the guitarist Eddie Lang, a childhood friend of his. Through the 1920s and early 1930s, Venuti and Lang made many recordings, as leader and as featured soloists. He and Lang became so well known for their 'hot' violin and guitar solos that on many commercial dance recordings they were hired to do 12- or 24-bar duos towards the end of otherwise stock dance arrangements. In 1926, Venuti and Lang started recording for the OKeh label as a duet (after a solitary duet issued on Columbia), followed by "Blue Four" combinations, which are considered milestone jazz recordings. Venuti also recorded a number of larger, more commercial dance records for OKeh under the name "New Yorkers".
Eddie Lang was born Salvatore Massaro, the son of an Italian-American instrument maker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At first, he took violin lessons for 11 years. In school he became friends with Joe Venuti, with whom he would work for much of his career. He was playing professionally by about 1918, playing violin, banjo, and guitar. He worked with various bands in the USA's north-east, worked in London (late 1924 to early 1925), then settled in New York City.
He played a Gibson L-4 and L-5 guitar, providing great influence for many guitarists, including Django Reinhardt.
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