Encyclopedia > Lionel Belasco

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Lionel Belasco

Lionel Belasco (born 1881; died in New York City, c. June 24, 1967) was a prominent pianist, composer and bandleader, best known for his Calypso music recordings. According to various sources, he was born either in Barbados or in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; in any case he grew up in Trinidad, the son of a Afro-Caribbean mother and a Sephardic Jewish father. He traveled widely in the Caribbean and South America in his youth, absorbing a wide variety of musical influences. He was leading his own band by 1902. He made his first phonograph recordings in Trinidad in 1914, and soon after first traveled to New York City, where he made more recordings and set up a publishing business. He would continue to travel back and forth between New York and Trinidad for the rest of his life.

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