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Rufus Harley

Musician from United States of America

Rufus Harley, Jr. (b. near Raleigh, North Carolina, May 20, 1936; d. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 1, 2006) was an American jazz musician of mixed Cherokee and African ancestry, known primarily as the first jazz musician to adopt the Scottish great Highland bagpipe as his primary instrument. Although born near Raleigh, North Carolina, at an early age Harley moved with his mother to a poor neighborhood in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began playing the C melody saxophone at age 12, and also played trumpet. At the age of 22, he began studying saxophone, flute, oboe, and clarinet with Dennis Sandole (1913–2000), an Italian American jazz guitarist who also taught several other Philadelphia jazz musicians. Harley became inspired to learn the bagpipe after seeing the Black Watch perform in John F. Kennedy's funeral procession in November 1963. Then a maintenance worker for the Philadelphia's housing authority, Harley began searching the city for a set of bagpipes. Failing to find one, he traveled to New York City where he found a set in a pawn shop. He purchased the instrument for US$120, quickly adapting it to the idioms of jazz, blues, and funk. On several occasions, when a  ( Wikipedia article )

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Personal facts

Known as
Harley, Rufus
Date of birth
1936-05-20
Place of birth
North Carolina
Nationality
United States of America
Profession
Musician

Death

Date of death
2006-07-31
Cause of death
Prostate cancer

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