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Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) was a U.S. jazz clarinettist and soprano saxophonist. Bechet was born in New Orleans on 14th May 1897. From a young age he was able quickly to master any musical instrument he encountered. Some New Orleanians remembered him as a cornet hot-shot in his youth. At first, though, he decided on the clarinet as his main instrument, and Bechet remained one of jazz's greatest clarinetists for decades.