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"Ahola At Home"
Sylvester Ahola plays "Tiger Rag," (along with a phonograph recording) in addition to "I Got Rhythm," and "Honeysuckle Rose" (with piano accompaniment) on his trumpet for some home movie reels. With amazing technique his trumpet style could compete with any of the great clarinetists of the twenties.
These home movies were most likely filmed sometime during the 1940's.
Always the film buff, Ahola made silent home movies during the 1920's featuring himself and other Jazz artists. Some of these silent film clips can also be viewed on this site, set to the "California Rambles'" December 1927 recording "The Pay Off".
Sylvester Ahola was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts on May 24th 1902. As a trumpeter and cornetist he started performing as a member of the Frank Ward Orchestra and in 1925 he started playing with Paul Specht and His Orchestra, with whom he did a two month long tour of England that following year. This resulted in his becoming much more popular in England than he was in the United States. Over the next couple of years he performed with groups like the "California Ramblers" and "Adrian Rollini's Band".
In 1927 he moved to England and landed a job playing with the "Savoy Orphans" after which he gigged with Bert Firman and Bert Ambrose. The British Musicians' Union, unhappy to see a foreigner get so many jobs and attain so much success, effectively prohibited him from playing with anyone other than Bert Ambrose. This forced him to eventually leave in 1931 and return to New York City, where he never again achieved the level of success he had enjoyed during his time in England.
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