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Chicago Bassist/Violinist Johnny Frigo Dies at 90

Multi-instrumentalist Johnny Frigo died on July 4 at Weiss Memorial Hospital in his hometown of Chicago due to complications from a fall. Born in the city’s South Side, Frigo took up violin at a young age, but started playing bass in high school and went on to make a career as an upright and electric bassist before switching back to violin in his late 60s.

Frigo played with Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940s, and toured in a big band led by the Marx Brothers’ Chico Marx. He served in the Coast Guard during WWII and returned to Chicago where he formed the Soft Winds Jazz Trio in 1947 with pianist Lou Carter and guitarist Herb Ellis.

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