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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bebop pioneer Stan Levey dies at 79

Bebop pioneer Stan Levey dies at 79Wednesday 18th May, 2005

Bebop pioneer Stan Levey dies at 79
Big News Monday 16th May, 2005 (UPI)

Jazz drummer and bebop pioneer Stan Levey, who gave up music for photography in his later years, has died at age 79 in Van Nuys, Calif.

Levey grabbed public attention for the bebop sound he created in the mid-1940s with jazz greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

The self-taught Philadelphia native gained greater financial rewards in the Big Band era playing with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Stan Kenton.

Levey was a studio musician for hundreds of movies and TV shows, and wrote the music for five Walt Disney Co. documentaries.

In his 70s, however, Levey gave up music for commercial photography. His wife told the New York Times many friends never knew of his music career.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif., resident died April 19 two weeks after undergoing jaw cancer surgery, his wife said.

A documentary about his career, Stan Levey: The Original Original, has been released on DVD.

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