Arthur Edward Pepper, Jr. (September 1, 1925 - June 15, 1982) was an American alto saxophonist and clarinetist.
Art Pepper was born in Gardena, California, on September 1, 1925. His mother was a 14-year-old runaway; his father, a merchant seaman. Both were violent alcoholics, and when Art was still quite young he was sent to live with his paternal grandmother. He expressed early musical interest and talent, and he was given lessons. He began playing clarinet at nine, switched to alto saxophone at 13 and immediately began jamming on Central Avenue, the black nightclub district of Los Angeles.
At the age of 17 he began playing professionally, with Benny Carter and then became part of the Stan Kenton orchestra, touring with that band, until he was drafted in 1943. After the war he returned to Los Angeles and joined the Kenton Innovations Orchestra. By the 1950s Pepper was recognized as one of the leading alto saxophonists in jazz, epitomized by his finishing...
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