File photo of 'Toots' Thielemans at the press conference in Belgium. Photograph: (Getty)
Thielemans died after a 70-year career as the world's top harmonica player
Belgian legend 'Toots' Thielemans has died after a 70-year career as the world's top harmonica player during which he made music with some of the biggest names in jazz.
Jean-Baptiste Frederic Isidore Thielemans, known affectionately as 'Toots', died in his sleep in a Brussels hospital early Monday, his manager Veerle Van de Poel told AFP. He was 94.
Born in 1922 in the working class Marolles district of Brussels, Thielemans got a big break when he joined Benny Goodman on a European tour in 1950 before moving to the United States where he teamed up with other jazz greats, including Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald.