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Cultural Percussionist

Joe Bushkin Day

Joe Bushkin (November 7, 1916 – November 3, 2004) was an American jazz pianist.

Born in New York City, Bushkin began his career by playing trumpet and piano with New York City dance bands, including Frank LaMare’s Band at the Roseland Ballroom in Brooklyn. He joined Bunny Berigan‘s band in 1935, played with Eddie Condon from 1936–37, and with Max Kaminsky and Joe Marsala, before rejoining Berigan in 1938. He then left to join Muggsy Spanier‘s Ragtime Band in 1939. From the late 1930s through to the late 1940s he also worked with Tommy Dorsey Eddie Condon on records, radio and television. After service in World War II he worked with Louis Armstrong, Bud Freeman and Benny Goodman.

Bushkin performed with Louis Armstrong and his All Stars with Velma Middleton singing vocals for the famed ninth Cavalcade of Jazz concert held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The concert was produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. on June 7, 1953. Also featured that day were Roy Brown and his Orchestra, Don Tosti and His Mexican Jazzmen, Earl Bostic, Nat “King” Cole, and Shorty Rogers and his Orchestra. He married Francice Netcher, elder sister of socialite Mollie Wilmot. The couple had four children – Nina, Maria, Terasa, and Christina. They lived in Santa Barbara, California, on a ranch. His best-known composition might be “Oh! Look at Me Now“, with John DeVries, written when he worked in Tommy Dorsey‘s band. That song would become Frank Sinatra‘s second hit and one of his most enduring songs right after “Polkadots & Moonbeams.”

 

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