Remembering South Philadelphia’s Eddie Lang, ‘Father of the Jazz Guitar’

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    South Philadelphia-born Eddie Lang (born Salvatore Massaro) is known as the “Father of the Jazz Guitar.” His distinctive style brought the guitar to the attention of the American public and influenced such guitarists Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and many others that followed. Lang is heard on recordings with musicians including his long time partner, violinist Joe Venuti, coronetist Bix Beiderbecke, singer Bessie Smith, and trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong. He was Bing Crosby’s favorite accompanist and appeared in Hollywood films before Lang’s untimely death in 1933. We’ll celebrate his life with guitarist RICHARD BARNES, the leader of the Blackbird Society Orchestra, a group of Philadelphia-area musicians that specialize in early American jazz music and guitarist MARTY GROSZ. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has proclaimed “Eddie Lang Day” Monday, October 25th.

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