Art Tatum's Accomplishments

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There has never been anyone like Art Tatum, who is one of the greatest jazz musicians in history. Tatum was born on October 13, 1909, in Toledo, Ohio, and he was the child of amateur musicians. His father was a mechanic, and his mother was a housemaid who worked in white homes. Although he was not born into a wealthy family, his unique talents helped propel him into the spotlight. If anything, Tatum proved that it was not impossible to become a world-class extraordinaire despite growing up with limited funds. He was well-known for his songs, “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Tea for Two,” and he was also commended for his spectacular dexterity and his high standards for music. It is even widely regarded that his music was so advanced that it was …show more content…
To begin with, he was born with cataracts in both of his eyes. After minor gains were achieved through operations, they were all for naught when he was mugged as a teenager. As a result, he lost all sight in his left eye, and only retained a sliver of light in his right eye, officially making him legally blind. Despite this disability, his passion for jazz allowed him to surpass his limitations, and in a way it even allowed him to develop extraordinary traits, such as in his ear for music. His passion and talents became noticeable in his early childhood. At the age of three, Tatum had already taught himself how to play the piano, and he could even recognize and perform various church hymns that he heard on the radio. At the age of seventeen, he was leading his own bands, and before he was twenty, he had already signed a two-year radio contract with WSPD. He learned to read sheet music via the Braille method, which is a tactile writing system used by the blind or visually impaired. He also memorized piano rolls and phonograph recordings, which exemplifies his determination to learn the instrument without vision. While Tatum primarily learned the piano through his own teachings, he attended the Toledo School of Music, where he received classical training to hone and further his abilities. His willingness to learn the piano through self-teachings and through former education demonstrates his passion for

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