Yaged is one of Benny Goodman's most-devoted disciples, so well-versed in Goodman's style that he was hired as technical advisor to Steve Allen for the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story. Yaged took up clarinet as an adolescent after hearing Goodman's 1935 National Biscuit Company broadcasts. He studied for many years with a member of the New York Philharmonic and was offered a chair with the Buffalo Philharmonic, which he declined. He instead embraced jazz, playing at New York clubs like Jimmy Ryan's and the Swing Club in the '40s. Yaged served in the Army during World War II; he worked widely as a sideman before and after the war, notably with Phil Napoleon's Memphis Five. Some of the famous names on his resumé include Coleman Hawkins, Henry "Red" Allen, and Jack Teagarden. From the mid-'50s, Yaged mostly led his own bands. Over the next several decades, he became a fixture in such New York nightclubs as the Metropole, Jimmy Weston's, and the Gaslight. By the late '90s, Yaged was fronting a band called the Felix Swing Band, led by keyboardist Felix Endico. A successful society orchestra based in New York's Westchester County (just north of N.Y.C.), the group's repertoire features arrangements made famous by Goodman, Artie Shaw, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, and Count Basie, among others.
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