Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13 Birthday: Art Tatum

Art Tatum, musician
Oct. 13, 1907-Nov. 5, 1956

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008)

Mostly self-taught, Tatum began playing the piano as a young child. Because of his poor eyesight, he could not participate in many activities. The piano was his refuge and strength. Word spread and soon he was playing in cafes, bars and the local radio station in his hometown of Toledo. Written in first person, this is a humble story of a gifted child who becomes one of the all-time jazz greats.

Watch and listen to Art Tatum play “Humoresque” on YouTube, his signature tune.