Bohumir Kryl (1875 to 1961)
He was a former Circus acrobat and sculptor Bohumir Kryl was born in Bohemia on 2nd May 1875. In 1889 he travelled to America supplementing his passage playing cornet and violin with the cruise orchestra. Ten years later he had established himself as a fine soloist, initially based in Indianapolis playing with the When Clothing Company Band and latterly with the famous Sousa Band. After two years with the Chicago Marine Band he accepted the solo cornet seat with the Duss Band located at Madison Square Garden. Although not as well known as some bands the Duss Band’s extensive touring regime provided Bohumir with an ideal opportunity to display his virtuosity to a wider audience. He was paid $800 a month, enjoyed thrilling the crowds often playing two solos per concert and was given the role of assistant conductor in 1903. His departure to form his own band in 1906, which flourished through to 1931, was reluctantly accepted. Herman Bellstedt, who took over from Kryl, although a very fine soloist, was never able to produce the charismatic performances established by Bohumir Kryl. It was during this later period that he made numerous recordings; one of his favourites “The Carnival of Venice” is featured on Track 23 of CD3BM3 “Vintage Gems”. His wonderful range, including the use of pedal-notes in the lower register, crisp articulation, pure tone and individual phrasing give his recordings their great attraction. He was the master of the cornet, even able to produce multiphonic effects by playing a low note and humming a higher one, producing a “difference note” often of a greater volume than the hum itself. He was able to perform well into his sixties. According to the New York Times of August 10, 1961 he died on Monday, August 9, 1961 at his summer home in Wilmington, eastern Adirondack Mountains near Plattsburgh, New York. ending an incredible musical career.