John Graas

John Graas, born March 14, 1917, died April 13, 1962. He was an American jazz French horn player and composer. Graas was born in Dubuque in Iowa. He had a brief but successful career on the West Coast. He is best known as one of the most outstanding jazz French horn players. Graas received classical training and attended the Tanglewood Music Center where he was taught by Serge Koussevitsky. He became interested in jazz quickly and began to study how jazz and classical music could be combined. This was his first attempt at Third Stream music. He was a member the the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (1941), Claude Thornhill Orchestra (1922) and the Army Air Corps Band (1942-1945), as well as the Cleveland Orchestra (1945-1946), Tex Beneke Orchestra (1946-1949), Stan Kenton Orchestra (1950-1953). After that, Graas settled down in Los Angeles and found work as a studio musician. He also had the opportunity to work with Buddy Collette, Buddy Collette, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Collette, Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers and Buddy Collette who were all involved in blending jazz with classical music. Graas released a few albums, including French Horn Jazz (1953), Coup de Graas ( 1956) and Jazzmantics (1957). His “Jazz Chaconne No. His ambitious attempts to combine jazz and classical music was evident in his “Jazz Chaconne No. It was accompanied by his “Jazz Symphony No. 1″ on International Premiere in Jazz (1958). 1” was, despite its name, more classical than jazz. Graas was a prolific performer, composer and arranger during the 1950s. He was a member of several musical groups, including his own, as well as those of Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson, Billy May May, Pete Rugolo and Mel Lewis. His 1960s career began with equal intensity. He recorded with Bobby Darin and Henry Mancini. He died from a heart attack at 45 in Los Angeles’ Van Nuys section. From Wikipedia

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