Theodore Navarro was born in Key West, Florida in 1923. He learned to play a variety of instruments, but settled on the trumpet. His early trumpet influences were Roy Eldridge, Harry James, and Charlie Shavers. Navarro started his career in the early 1940’s playing with a number of bands in the Midwest where he befriended trumpeter Howie McGhee. He replaced Dizzy Gillespie in the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in 1945. Navarro played so well that it was said you could not tell that Gillespie had left Eckstine’s band. Navarro decided to stay in New York and by 1946 was a regular on the jazz scene. Dizzy Gillespie showed us a new way to play, but Fats Navarro perfected it and by the latter half of the 1940’s became the prototypical bebop trumpet player. Well liked and admired, Navarro made many recordings with the bop musicians in the 1940’s that stand as a testament to his legacy.