VINCE GUARALDI Biography - Musicians


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Name: Vincent Anthony Guaraldi                                                         
Born: 17 July 1928 San Francisco, California, United States                             
Died: 6 February 1976 Menlo Park, California, United States                             
Vince Guaraldi (July 17, 1928 - February 6, 1976) was an American jazz musician         
and pianist best known for composing music for animated adaptations of the             
Peanuts comic strip. Guaraldi was born in San Francisco, California. He                 
graduated from Lincoln High School, attended San Francisco State College, and           
served as an Army cook in the Korean War.                                               
In his first serious gig, he had to fill in for Art Tatum.                             
His first recording was made in November of 1951 and came out early in 1953. The       
early 10 inch LP was called The Cal Tjader Trio, which included the tunes "Chopsticks   
Mambo," "Vibra-Tharpe," and "Lullaby of the Leaves." By 1955, Guaraldi had put         
together his own trio with Eddie Duran and Dean Reilly. He then reunited with           
Cal Tjader in June, 1956 and was an integral part of two great bands that the           
vibraphonist assembled. The first band played mainly straight jazz and included         
Al Torre on drums, Eugene Wright on bass and Luis Kant on congas and bongos. The       
second band was formed in the spring of 1958 and included Al Mckibbon on bass,         
Mongo Santamaria on congas and bongos and Willie Bobo on drums and timbales.           
Reed men Paul Horn and Jose Chombo Silva were also added to the group for               
certain live performances and recordings. Guaraldi left the group early in 1959         
in order to pursue his own projects full time. Though he was best known for             
composing the music for the popular animated Peanuts television holiday specials,       
he was a Grammy award-winning jazz pianist prior to the Peanuts series.                 
Nevertheless, his most recognized tune is "Linus and Lucy" from A Charlie Brown         
Christmas, a song which is known by fans worldwide as the musical signature of         
the Peanuts franchise.                                                                 
Guaraldi's Cast Your Fate to the Wind won a Grammy for Best Original Jazz               
Composition. The track appears on the 1962 album Jazz Impressions of Black             
Orpheus, inspired by the French/Brazilian film Black Orpheus, which won an             
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. While "Cast Your Fate To The Wind"       
by Guaraldi achieved modest chart success as a single in 1963, a cover version         
two years later by British group Sounds Orchestral cracked the Billboard top 10         
(in the spring of 1965).