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Cultural Percussionist

Charlie Ventura Day

Charlie Ventura (born Charles Venturo; December 2, 1916 – January 17, 1992) was a tenor saxophonist and bandleader from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ventura had his first taste of success working with Gene Krupa. In 1945 he won the Down Beat readers’ poll in the tenor saxophone category.[1][2] In the late 1940s he led several popular groups and went on to become known for his “bop for the people,” with vocalists Jackie Cain and Roy Kral.

After the early 1950s he made only a few recordings. His first was the debut album for Gene Norman’s GNP Crescendo label (GNPD No. 1) recorded live in Los Angeles. In Las Vegas, he worked with Jackie Gleason and was the featured soloist on four albums Gleason produced : Riff Jazz (1958), on which he played alto, tenor, and bass saxophones; Silk and Brass (1965); A Taste of Brass for Lovers Only (1967); and Doublin’ in Brass (1968)

Ventura died of lung cancer in Pleasantville, New Jersey at the age of 75.

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