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Word Count: 590
The story begins in Key West Florida where Theodore Fats Navarro was born of mixed Cuban-Black-Chinese parentage on September 24 1923 His musical training began early with piano lessons at age six but he did not start taking music seriously until he took up the trumpet at age thirteen He became good during his high school years He also played tenor saxophone and played briefly with Walter Johnsons band in Miami Apparently Fats did not care much for Key West He was once quoted as saying I didnt like Key West at all Ill never go back So after graduating high school he joined Sol Allbrightss band in Orlando so Fats traveled with him to Cincinnati and took further trumpet lessons from an Ohio teacher He then went on the road with Snookum Russells Indianapolis orchestra Russells group a band well known in the area in the 1940s proved to be very good for Fats It was a place where he developed experimented and made mistakes that no one would remember before heading on to the national stage Fats stayed with Russell for about two years 1941-42 and became their trumpet soloist Fats worked next with Andy Kirk and his Kansas City Clouds of Joy Here he made a friendship with trumpeter Howard McGhee Fats role in the Andy Kirk band explains this story retold by Billy Eckstine describing how Fats moved over to his band Dizzy Gillespie left my band in Washington DC He told me to go over to hear Andy Kirk because there was a fellow with Kirk named Fats Navarro Take a listen to him said Dizzy hes wonderful So I went out to the club and the only thing Fats had to blow was behind a chorus number But he was wailing behind this number and I said to myself This is good enough thisll fit So I got Fats to come by and talk it over and about two
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