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Irving Fazola

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A great clarinetist, particularly skilled at counterpoint and playing the blues, Irving Fazola began to study C melody sax and clarinet at 13, and performed in New Orleans with Candy Candido, Louis Prima, Sharkey Bonano, and Armand Hug before joining Ben Pollack in 1935. He went north with Pollack's orchestra in 1936. During the late '30s and into the '40s, Fazola returned periodically to New Orleans, while playing with a number of big bands headed up by the likes of Augie Schellang, Gus Arnheim, Glenn Miller, Pollack, Bob Crosby, Jimmy McPartland, Tony Almerico, Claude Thornhill, Muggsy Spanier, Teddy Powell, and Horace Heidt. He resettled in New Orleans after 1943 due to poor health, and played with various small groups as well as reuniting with Almerico and both Leon and Louis Prima. ~ Ron Wynn

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Birth Name:

Irving Henry Prestopnik


11 December 1912 in New Orleans, LA

Years Active:

'30s, '40s