Reference Entry

Getz, Stan

Barry Kernfeld

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Getz, Stan (02 February 1927–06 June 1991), jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader, was born Stanley Getz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Alexander Getz, a tailor, and Goldie (maiden name unknown). Alexander’s surname had been shortened from Gayetzsky when the family emigrated from Russia. Stan Getz was raised in the Bronx from age six. He played harmonica at age twelve, switched to string bass six months later, and then to alto saxophone after another half year. He received a few lessons on the saxophone but was mainly self-taught. To play in the James Monroe High School orchestra, he doubled on bassoon and made such rapid progress that he was named to the All-City High School Orchestra, which entitled him to free lessons from Simon Kovar of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. At age fifteen he was playing saxophone professionally in Dick Rogers’s dance band at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, and shortly after his sixteenth birthday he dropped out of high school to tour for nine months with trombonist ...

Reference Entry.  2610 words. 

Subjects: Woodwinds ; Blues ; Jazz ; Conducting

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