Svend Asmussen dies at 100

Svend AsmussenSVEND ASMUSSEN, 100, on Feb. 7 in Copenhagen, Denmark. A swing-style violinist known as The Fiddling Viking, his playing career extended from 1923 to 2010.

He took up the violin at age 7, and at 16, heard recordings of Joe Venuti, whose style he began to emulate. He worked on cruise ships with artists such as Josephine Baker and Fats Waller and later was greatly influenced by Stuff Smith. He played and recorded with many jazz greats, including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, Lionel Hampton, and Toots Thielemans. Was a member of a popular swing trio with Danish guitarist Ulrik Neumann and Swedish singer Alice Babs, known for their scat singing and Music Hall-style entertainment.

Listen to Angela Verbrugge: Love for Connoisseurs

Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag in 1989 and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we grew to become The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles of today's top musicians are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz contains 43 more! Lew taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

Or look at our Subscription Options.