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Canadian Heritage

Woody Herman


WOODY HERMAN (saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, singer) was born Woodrow Charles Thomas Herman on May 16, 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and passed away November 2, 1987 in West Hollywood, California. Herman began performing as a child singer, becoming a professional musician on taking up saxophone at 15. The Woody Herman Orchestra, later known as the “Herd” through various incarnations, was one of the most popular bands of the 1930s and 40s producing hits like “Woodchopper’s Ball” and “Caledonia”. Known for the quality of musicians, his 40’s era saxophone section featured at various points: Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and Gene Ammons and continued the high standard of artistry over the next four decades. Herman was honoured with a Grammy award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987.