Charlie Ventura

December 2, 1916 - January 17, 1992

One of a large family, several of his brothers were sax players including Ernie and Ben. Began on 'C' melody at the age of 15, worked in family hat-making business during the 1930s, but did regular local gigs. With Gene Krupa from 1942 until 1946 (except for a spell with Teddy Powell 1943-4). Led own big band from August 1946 until 1947, then cut down to small group for two years, re-formed big band until early 1951. Led own Big Four (with Chubby Jackson, Buddy Rich and Marty Napoleon) from summer of 1951, then toured Asia with Gene Krupa Trio from January until June 1952. Worked on and off with Gene Krupa Trio through the 1950s and 1960s, occasionally doubling on baritone and bass saxes, has also continued to lead own small groups in 1960s, long residencies in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc., etc. Moved to the East Coast in 1972, played regularly in New England area (1978). (from Who's Who of Jazz Storyville to Swing Street - by John Chilton)

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