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Mel Zelnick

b. 28 Sept 1924, Harlem, NEW YORK, NY, USA, d. 21 Feb 2008, Mayer, Az, USA. After hearing Chick Webb on the Apollo theater Zelnick was influenced to try out drums, first inside a neighbourhood drum corps. At age 12 he earned a citywide universities drumming tournament and later researched in the Juilliard College of Music. Zelnick performed within the US Military during World Battle II and by the end from the 40s became a member of Benny Goodman’s bebop music group. In this music group were Wardell Grey and Stan Hasselgård. Zelnick also documented in the 50s with Eddie Bert, Lenny Hambro and Marian McPartland. Through the 60s Zelnick was a studio room musician, frequently at Capitol Information, backing performers including Nat ‘Ruler’ Cole, Peggy Lee and Patti Web page, and he also documented with Ray Charles. Zelnick managed a music shop in California before shifting to Arizona, ultimately retiring from full-time music although he trained and occasionally performed at civic features. In 2005, in the 5th Annual Jazz Summit kept in Prescott, Az, 26 August was announced Mel Zelnick Day time.

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