Black History Month: Day 26

Sidney Bechet was an African American jazz musician. He played along the side of Josephine Baker, and recorded popular tunes such as, “Loveless Love”, and “Dear old Southland”.

Bechet was born in New Orleans, in May of 1897. His ancestry consisted of Creole. His father was a shoemaker. He came from a musical background. Most of his household consisted of musicians.


Provided by Google

Bechet loved the clarinet. One was passed down to him from his older brother. He would consistently practice and play musical genres such as waltzes, and whatever else was popular among the middle class of New Orleans.

One day he was drawn to jazz music. He loved the rhythms and harmonies. He would skip school to sit in local jazz bands. Musician, Bunk Johnson, was drawn to young Bechet’s talent, and invited him to join to his band.


Provided by Google

At 19 years old, Bechet left home to play Jazz with piano player, Clarence Williams, in Chicago. He was invited to join the Southern Syncopated Orchestra in London, England in 1919.

Bechet gained his fame in London. He also desired to learn another instrument. The soprano saxophone is what made him more popular.

In 1945, he moved back to the United States. He formed a band, taught music to young students, and opened a dry cleaning business. Bechet moved back to Paris after his retirement. He died in 1959.