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Peter Compo Dies

Peter Compo, a jazz violinist and bassist who worked with Gene Krupa, Roy Eldridge and Stuff Smith, among others, died Monday, April 28 of liver failure.

Born in Queens, N.Y. in 1932, Compo began playing violin under the instruction of his uncle at age six. After ten years on the instrument he switched to bass, studying with Phil Sklar. Compo worked throughout the second half of the 20th century, keeping time for Stuff Smith, Charlie Barnet, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Lionel Hampton, Claude Thornhill and many others. He picked up the violin again in 1984 and took both bass and violin gigs until a hip injury in 1988 forced him to put down the bass for good. Compo continued on the violin, playing mostly in New York, and released In Europe, the last of three albums he cut as a leader, in 1999.

Compo’s funeral was held last night at the O’Shea Funeral Home in East Meadow, Long Island. There will be a Jazz Memorial Service on Sunday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peters Lutheran Church at Citicorp Center in New York City.

Originally Published