Art Tatum

NAME: Art Tatum

BORN: October 13, 1909

COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS: born...Toledo, Ohio (Lucas County)

OCCUPATION: musician (jazz)

DIED: November 5, 1956 (?)


A master pianist, Tatum was an important figure in the history of jazz. Mainly self-taught, he started playing professionally in Toledo during the 1920's, and went on to establish a band in Chicago by the1930's.

He was known for his rapid runs and shifting rhythms, as well as for being a brilliant improvisor.

Born with cataracts in both eyes, he learned to play while almost completely blind. He read music in Braille.