Gene Krupa

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gene Krupa

All About Jazz is celebrating Gene Krupa's birthday today!. Gene Krupa was easily one of the most colorful personalities of the big band era. Despite his outrageous stage persona, Krupa was a serious and disciplined musician whose vision changed the role of drummer forever and who helped standardize the jazz drum kit.
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Gene Krupa in Japan

Almost 70 years ago, three musicians had the honor of being the first American jazz group to play in Japan. On April 19, 1952, the Gene Krupa Jazz Trio—Krupa at the traps, Charlie Ventura on tenor and bass saxophones, and Teddy Napoleon on piano—became the first American jazz group ever to perform in Japan. After their arduous two-week tour, the jazz world was forever changed, as were the lives of the three musicians.
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