Some days, Google adds an interactive image to its logo to commemorate a specific day, event, achievement or person.
It’s called a Google Doodle and is a special, temporary alteration that only lasts for 24 hours, until that day is over.
Today’s Doodle is a colourful piece of artwork that honours someone called Toots Thielemans, but who is he? Read on to find out…
Who was Toots Thielemans?
Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans, better known as Toots Thielemans or just ‘Toots’, was a famous Belgian jazz musician.
Born in 1922 in Brussels, he was known for his harmonica playing but also played guitar, whistled and composed.
The musician was regarded as one of the best harmonica players of all time and toured the world.
He died in his sleep at a hospital in August 2016 at the age of 94 from old age.
Inside his career
As a child, Toots played the accordion before becoming learning harmonica and guitar.
However, his music career really took off in the late 1940s, when he was around 20.
During a visit to America in 1948, an agent of jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman heard him play at a small New York music club and invited him to join his band as they toured Europe.
He accepted the invitation and joined their tours in 1949 and 1950 before making his first record with band member and saxophonist Zoot Sims.
In 1951, he then toured with Bobbejaan Schopen before moving to the U.S. in 1952 and becoming a member of Charlie Parker’s All-Stars.
He worked with Miles Davis, Minaj Washington and George Shearing and then became a U.S. citizen in 1957.
Toots continued performing throughout the 60s, 70s 80s, touring with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Joel and Natalie Cole.
He released numerous singles, albums and appeared on many film soundtracks.
The jazz icon played harmonica well into the 2000s before announcing his retirement on 12 March 2014.
Toots and John Lennon
In 1960, whilst playing in Hamburg on tour with George Shearing, John Lennon noticed that Toots played a Rickenbacker electric guitar and was very impressed.
“If was good enough for Thielemans it was good enough for me,” he famously said before making the Rickenbacker world-famous in The Beatles.
In 2002, the harmonica legend then performed his own recorded version of John Lennon’s Imagine.