Jazz Harmonica Legend Toots Thielemans Has Passed Away At 94

first_imgThe great Toots Thielemans has passed away at the age of 94. The jazz harmonica master died in his home country of Belgium, where he had retired after he stopped touring a few years ago.Thielemans had been a fixture on the jazz scene since the late 1940s, playing in Europe with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Max Roach before moving to America in 1952 to join Parker’s “All-Stars” band. He went on to play with a who’s who of jazz legends, everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius, and Thielemans enjoyed an illustrious career as the go-to harmonica player in the jazz world.Thielemans also crossed over and worked on many projects in the mainstream. He worked on numerous occasions with famed producer Quincy Jones, and he contributed to the soundtracks of many classic films like Midnight Cowboy and The Getaway. Thielemans even even performed the famous closing credits of Sesame Street, although it goes uncredited. In the 80s, Thielemans recorded with several modern pop stars like Billy Joel and Paul Simon, and his smooth harmonica skills were enjoyed by an entirely new generation of fansIn honor of the great Toots Thielemans and the great musical life he led, take a few minutes to watch some videos and hear Thielemans’ incredible harmonica playing one more time.Watch Thielemans in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2009 performing his biggest solo hit, “Bluesette” at the “Night of the Proms”.Here’s Thielemans performing “Imagine” by John Lennon at The Caspian Jazz and Blues Festival in Azerbaijan in 2002, courtesy of YouTube user American Voices.Listen to audio of Thielemans performing with Pat Metheny on “Back in Time”, courtesy of YouTube user Zs R.Finally, listen to Thielemans’ iconic playing on the Sesame Street closing credits.RIP Toots Thielemans, and thank you for your incredible contribution to the world of music!last_img

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