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Vince Guaraldi

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Vince Guaraldi (July 17, 1928 - February 6, 1976) was a jazz musician and pianist best known for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip.

He was born in San Francisco, California. He was an Army cook in the Korean War.

In his first serious gig, he had to fill in for Art Tatum.

His first recording came in 1953 when he played on the Cal Tjader Trio release Vibratharpe. By 1955, Guaraldi had put together his own trio with Eddie Duran and Dean Reilly.

He wrote many pieces for the popular animated Peanuts television holiday specials; his most-recognized tune is "Linus and Lucy" from A Charlie Brown Christmas, a song which has been adopted by fans worldwide as the musical signature of the Peanuts franchise.

One of his well-known pieces is "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," for which he won a Grammy in the category "Best Original Jazz Composition." The track appears on the album "Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus," inspired by the French/Portugese film "Black Orpheus," which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture.

While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts Christmas special, Charles Schulz, (creator of the Peanuts comic strip) heard a live club performance of Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab in San Francisco, CA. He demanded to be taken to the club immediately and introduced himself to Mr. Guaraldi after the set. He proposed the idea of Mr. Guaraldi scoring the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Mr. Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job. He went on to compose scores for numerous Peanuts television specials.

He died of a sudden heart attack at age 47 between sets at Butterfield's in Menlo Park, California.

In 2004, a here-to-fore unknown live performance of the eight-part "Charlie Brown Suite" was released, restored from tapes in private collections.

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