Professionally referred to as Toots Thielemans, he was actually born as Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans. The music icon was known for his chromatic harmonica playing when he was still with us. Ted Gioia, a jazz historian, described him as someone who championed the harmonica, bringing this rather ubiquitous musical instrument closer to people’s hearts. Eventually, Thielemans was given credit for being a pre-eminent expert in jazz harmonica.
Apart from playing as part of the Benny Goodman band, this music artist was also commissioned to create soundtracks for movies like The Sugarland Express, The Getaway, and The Pawnbroker. Owing to his great contribution to the music industry, he was designated as Jazz Master, the highest honor the National Endowment for the Arts in the US could give. He was also nominated to be the Greatest Belgian in 2005 and ranked 20th place in the Flemish version. Thielemans left us in 2016, aged 94.