At Age 103 and 1/2, World's Oldest Living Jazz Drummer Hits Another Milestone
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LOS ANGELES - eMusicWire -- On April 5, 2024, Leo Pearlstein celebrated his 103rd and a half birthday, marking a remarkable milestone as the oldest living jazz drummer globally. Born on October 5, 1920, in Paterson, New Jersey, Leo's musical journey began early. His family relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years, where Leo immersed himself in percussion, initially in the Los Angeles High School Marching Band.

Leo's passion for music continued as he pursued a degree in public relations at the University of Southern California. It was during his time at USC that he encountered the legendary drummer Gene Krupa, an encounter that would shape his musical aspirations profoundly. Inspired, Leo formed the "Leo Pearlstein Orchestra" while juggling academics and assisting at his parents' grocery store. In 1943, Leo married Helen Bluefield, with whom he raised 3 children and shared a fulfilling life for 69 years until her passing in 2012.

Post-graduation, Leo ventured into the world of public relations, joining Eddie Bracken's advertising agency and TV production company. His innate talent for food promotion earned him the moniker "King of Culinary Public Relations." Leo's agency thrived, representing top-tier food and beverage accounts and earning him recognition for his work with Hollywood luminaries like Abbott & Costello, Bing Crosby, and Doris Day.

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Despite his professional success, Leo never strayed far from his musical roots. At least three times annually until his later 90's, Leo would host a musical "jam session" with his son David Bluefield, a Warner Bros recording artist and award-winning songwriter on piano, Leo playing drums, and several local jazz musicians or even some of Leo's clients featured playing in the ensemble as well. These sessions, dubbed "Living Room Sessions," became cherished events in their community, showcasing Leo's enduring passion for music.

Now in his 103rd year, Leo may no longer partake in frequent jam sessions, but the tradition persists, serving as a testament to his indomitable spirit. His legacy as the world's oldest living jazz drummer lives on, immortalized in recordings of past performances and the continuation of the "Living Room Sessions." For inquiries or to learn more, please refer to the attached YouTube playlist and video.

Attached below are a YouTube playlist containing clips and full performances from previous recordings of the "Living Room Sessions," which feature Leo Pearlstein, his son David Bluefield, and their collaborators, as well as a second YouTube video recorded from the band's most recent "Living Room Session." Press/contact inquiries can be made via the email attached.

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Playlist Title: Living Room sessions

Video Title: Dad, 103 years old, the world's oldest living jazz drummer

Bluefield Bandwidth

Source: David Bluefield
Filed Under: Music

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