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Toots Thielemans (Harmonica)

Born: 29th April 1922, Brussels, Belgium

Died: 22nd August 2016, Braine l'Alleud, Belgium

Nationality: Belgian

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans known professionally as Toots Thielemans, was a Belgian jazz musician. He was mostly known for his harmonica playing, as well as his guitar, whistling skills, and composing. According to jazz historian Ted Gioia, his most important contribution was in "championing the humble harmonica", which Thielemans made into a "legitimate voice in jazz". He eventually became the "preeminent" jazz harmonica player.

His first professional performances were with Benny Goodman's band when they toured Europe in 1949 and 1950. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1951, becoming a citizen in 1957.

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