They called him “Bix,” and his fans call themselves “Bixophiles.” He had a terrible addiction to alcohol and died at age 28, but still managed to play cornet with some of the greatest jazz legends of all time, such as Corona resident Louis Armstrong. In fact, many music lovers consider him to be the best cornetist of all time, partly because he invented a style that created a sound described a “bullets hitting a fan.” Finally, Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa, where an annual jazz festival honors his legacy, but he died while living in an apartment at 43-30 46th Street in Sunnyside, Queens.
On Saturday, August 8, his adopted hometown will celebrate his life with another yearly festival: The Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Jazz Concert in the vicinity of the Sunnyside Arch from 2 pm to 7 pm. The theme is the Roaring Twenties, the honoree’s best decade. (He died in 1931.) Local groups such as the Street Beat Brass Band, Sunnyside Drum Corps, the Sunnyside Social Club, and the Sunnyside Wolverines, a pickup band that unites for this occasion every year, will perform either under a large tent or on a makeshift dance floor.
Check out more details and a photo from last year’s Lindy Hop performance on the jump page.