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Jimmy Giuffre (James Peter Giuffre) was born in Dallas Texas on April 26th 1921. At 9 he was playing clarinet, and at 14 he started playing tenor saxophone. He went to North Texas State Teachers College in 1938, roomed with Herb Ellis, and graduated in 1942 with a Music Degree.

Later in 1942 Jimmy Giuffre became a member of Harry Bluestone's U.S. Air Force band. After the Air Force he studied with Dr. Weslet La Violette and played with Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, The Lighthouse Allstars, Garwood Van, Boyd Raeburn, Spade Cooley, and Shorty Rogers.