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Carter, Bennett Lester (Benny)

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Born: 1907 AD
Died: 2003 AD, at 95 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Composers, Musicians

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1907 - Born on August 8th in Harlem. American musician and composer, was the elder statesman of jazz, one of the most original and influential swing era saxophonists, and a pioneer arranger who helped set the big band style.

1928 - Made his recording and arranging debut as a member of Charlie Johnson’s Orchestra.

1931-1936 - His compositions, which include When Lights Are Low and Blues in My Heart, became jazz and big band standards.

         - Carter left the U.S. for France ending up in England as a staff arranger for Henry Hall’s BBC house radio band.

1937 - He played a season at a Dutch seaside resort leading a big interracial and international band, the first successful unit of its kind in jazz history.

1941 - Carter formed a short-lived sextet consisting of musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Jimmy Hamilton.

1943 - He appeared in MGM’s Thousands Cheer with Lena Horne.

1946 - Benny Carter disbanded his big band, in part, because of his growing Hollywood career.

1959 - He played, arranged and composed for a large group on the Aspects release.

1979 - Married to Hilma Ollila Arons.

1986 - He was the NEA Jazz Master.

1987 - He won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy.

1988 - He was inducted in the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

1996 - Received the Kennedy Center Honor.

2000 - Recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

2003 - Died from complications of bronchitis at the age of 95 on July 12th.

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Page last updated: 10:11pm, 17th Sep '07