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Re: [RedHotJazz] Leo Rosner 1918-2008

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  • Prof_Hi_Jinx
    How about that - I got a number of medico-legal reports from Leo in personal injury cases over the years, without ever realising he was into jazz. Bob ...
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 13, 2008
      How about that - I got a number of medico-legal reports from Leo in personal injury cases over the years, without ever realising he was into jazz.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Denis King
      To: redhotjazz@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 11:05 AM
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Leo Rosner 1918-2008

      Leo Rosner 1918-2008
      >> Hello Denis and Members,
      >> last Friday night, ace accordionist and bass virtuoso, Leo Rosner
      >> passed from us. He was 90. Adored in the Jewish community in
      >> Melbourne since the 1950's, Leo had come to Australia after spending
      >> an horrendous time in a concentration camp during the Nazi holocaust.
      >> Born in Krakow in Poland in 1918, Leo studied music early in his life
      >> and was playing accordion in his own dance band at age 15. This was
      >> right at the beginning of Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Europe.
      >> During the Olympic year in Berlin in 1936, Leo composed music (as did
      >> brother George, who later went to Hollywood, post 1945); he wrote
      >> orchestrations and added the string bass to his many musical skills.
      >> During the holocaust, Leo played music in a ghetto orchestra which
      >> has been detailed about the concentration camp of Auschwitz. Here, he
      >> met drummer, guitarist and swing kid, Coco Schuman who was part of
      >> the "Ghetto Swingers". This big orchestra played all the American
      >> swing songs forbidden in Germany under Dr. Joseph Goebbels. During
      >> this horrendous time in the mid 1940's, these musicians survived
      >> purely by luck and their own skills of cunning. Both Leo Rosner and
      >> Coco Schuman came to Australia after the war and settled in
      >> Melbourne. By the mid 1950's Coco Schuman returned to Europe to
      >> continue his career as a guitarist renowned for his modern style and
      >> technique.
      >> After their liberation in 1945, Leo Rosner moved to Paris where he
      >> worked with artist such as Maurice Chevalier, Mistingett, George
      >> Ulmer and the brilliant guitarist, Django Reinhart.
      >> In 1949 Leo came to Australia, and instantly had work with Denis
      >> Farrington's Orchestra in Melbourne. They played the social scene and
      >> just about every other combination on radio, records and the early
      >> days of television. Leo worked closely around Melbourne playing music
      >> for every occasion as well as for the Jewish community who just loved
      >> everything about him. During the 1970's Leo and his wife Helen opened
      >> a reception house in Elsternwick, and ran that successfully for many
      >> years. He continued to play music all over Melbourne until his mid
      >> 80's when his health started to falter.
      >> He was consulted by movie maker Stephen Spielberg during the
      >> production of the block-buster movie "Schindler's List" in 1993 which
      >> starred Liam Neeson in the main role. Here Leo was able to give first
      >> hand information to the Hollywood director about what actually went
      >> on in such a hell hole. Leo's home is adorned by much nostalgia of
      >> the past and the photographs which have survived over the years is
      >> truly amazing. Leo was always the cheerful and quietly comedic
      >> character in a band that set the mirth rolling for a night of magical
      >> entertainment. His many records are now retrieved in the National
      >> Library Of Australia index. It is a curious thing to ponder what
      >> might have been saved from his years in the turbulent European scene
      >> of the 1940's. We may never know.
      >> He is survived by his lovely wife Helen, and daughters Anna and
      >> Francis, and their families and grandchildren.
      >> Thank you Leo for a life so well given to the entertainment of
      >> others. You were unique and your contribution to music in Australia
      >> will be sorely missed.
      >> Geoff Orr

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