As a boy, Bix Beiderbecke had a few piano lessons, but he was self-taught on cornet and developed an unorthodox technique by playing along with recordings. His family disapproved of his interest in jazz and sent him to Lake Forest Academy in 1921, but the opportunity to play and hear jazz in nearby Chicago caused frequent truancy and eventually his expulsion. After several months working for his father in Davenport, he turned to a career in music.
Based in Chicago, he became known through his playing and recordings with the Wolverines in 1924. In the same year, he began a long association with Frankie Trumbauer , recording with him in New York; after working with Jean Goldkette's dance band (1924), he played with Trumbauer's group in St