28 March 1890, Denver, Colorado, USA, d. 29 December 1967, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA. Whitemans father was a distinguished music teacher and a career in music seemed the most natural thing for the youngster to follow. A tall, heavily-built individual, Whiteman first learned classical violin, and in his teens was a member of the local symphony orchestra. During World War I he organized bands in the US Navy and thereafter led his own bands in Los Angeles, Atlantic City and eventually New York City. By 1920, he already had a recording contract with RCA - Victor Records; in 1923 he took a band to London, and in the following year presented a spectacular concert at New Yorks Aeolian Hall. Billed as an Experiment In Modern Music, the occasion was later hailed, inaccurately, as the first jazz concert. It was typical of what was to become the Whiteman trademark: lavish presentation, many musicians, and music of all kinds mixed together, whether...
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