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2017 Belgium €20 Silver Proof Coin "Toots Thielemans"

RSM Price: $59.95
Item Number: BE17AGPF1
  • Mint: Royal Belgian Mint
  • Denomination: €20
  • Quality: Proof
  • Issue limit: 5,000 pcs.
  • Alloy: 92.5% Sterling Silver
  • Diameter: 37.00 mm
  • Weight: 22.85 grams
  • Box/Capsule: Yes/Yes
  • Certificate: Yes
 

Additional Information

Please click here for an external web page in English!

This issue honors Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans (1922-2016), known professionally as Toots Thielemans, a Belgian and American jazz musician best known for his harmonica playing. Thielemans emigrated to the U.S. in 1951, becoming a citizen in 1957.

His first professional performances were with Benny Goodman's band when they toured Europe in 1949 and 1950. From 1953 until 1959 he played with George Shearing, and then led his own groups on tours in the U.S. and Europe. In 1961 he recorded and performed live one of his own compositions, "Bluesette", which featured him playing guitar and whistling. In the 1970s and 1980s, he continued touring and recording, appearing with musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Werner, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Elis Regina and Paquito D'Rivera.

Among the film soundtracks that Thielemans recorded are The Pawnbroker (1964), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Sugarland Express (1974) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). His harmonica theme song for the popular Sesame Street TV show was heard for 40 years. He often performed and recorded with Quincy Jones, who once called him "one of the greatest musicians of our time." In 2009 he was designated a Jazz Master by The National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor for a jazz musician in the United States.

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