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Adler, Lawrence Cecil [Larry] (1914–2001), harmonica player and composer, was born on 10 February 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the son of Louis Adler, plumber, and his wife, Sadie Hack. His family were of Russian descent and changed their name from Zelakovitch to ...

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Lawrence Cecil Adler (1914–2001) by Ida Kar, 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bassano, Alvise (d. 1554), musician and instrument maker, was presumably born in Bassano, near Venice, in the late fifteenth century, the second son of Maestro Jeronimo (d. 1539?), known as Piva (‘bagpipe’). By 1515 he was playing in Venice, and he served in ...

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Geldray, Max (1916–2004), harmonica player, was born Max Leon van Gelder in Amsterdam on 12 February 1916, the first child of Leon van Gelder, commercial traveller, and his wife, Margarite, née Baillosterky. His father was a hard-working perfume salesman for a Spanish company, but political upheavals caused his earnings to fluctuate wildly. The young ...

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Bernard Green (1927–1998) by Doug McKenzie, c. 1990 Getty Images – Doug McKenzie

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Green, Bernard [Benny] (1927–1998), jazz saxophonist, writer, and broadcaster, was born at 260 Meanwood Road, Leeds, on 9 December 1927. His father, David Green, was a tailor and saxophonist and had met his mother, Fanny Fryer, while he was playing with a band in ...

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Roy, Harry [real name Harris Litman] (1900–1971), bandleader and clarinettist, was born at 26 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, east London, on 12 January 1900, one of at least two sons of Solomon Litman, then a master bootmaker, and his wife, Eva Okin. He changed his name by deed poll in his teens when first trying to make his way in the musical world. He was attracted to music as a boy and found his first great inspiration in the music of the ...