A PIONEER OF JAZZ
A MUSICAL BEGINNING
Lester Willis Young was an illustrious American jazz musician. He was also known by the nickname, ‘Pres’, short for president, which was given to him by the singer Billie Holiday because of his pioneering jazz style. Growing up in a talented musical family, Lester had already learned to play several musical instruments by the time he turned 10.
“ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE JAZZ HEROES IS LESTER YOUNG."Seb Coe
THE RISE TO FAME
After moving to Kansas City at 24, Young played in a few bands before gaining fame as a member of The Count Basie Orchestra. Well-known for his relaxed, cool tone and sophisticated harmonies, Young was one of the most influential saxophonists of his time, having collaborated with the likes of Nat ‘King’ Cole, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis.