© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.
Here's a taste from my forthcoming Pepper biography:
The following March, after he purchased his first saxophone, Pepper attended all three performances of the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the Temple Theatre, a movie palace built in 1909 at 35 Clinton Avenue South in downtown Rochester. On March 5, 1944, the last night of the engagement, Ellington trumpeter Rex Stewart was curious about the enthusiastic, short-haired thirteen-year-old kid with horn-rimmed glasses he noticed sitting by himself in the balcony. Intrigued, Stewart made his way upstairs, introduced himself, then brought Adams backstage to meet Ellington's illustrious musicians.