Jaroslav Cimera came to the United States from Bohemia with his family at the age of nine. His American employment began as a child laborer in the coal mining industry of Illinois. After long days of working in the coal mines, Cimera would return home to begin his daily practice sessions. His performing career centered around brass bands, wind bands and circus bands. Although his longest tenure was with Bohumir Kryl’s band, his most acclaimed position was first chair trombonist and soloist with the Sousa band for one season. He never aspired to play in an orchestra as he considered the trombone section to be the “ass of the symphony!” While the former part of his life was centered on performing, the latter focused on teaching. He taught primarily out of his home in Oak Park, Illinois, but also at Northwestern University for a brief time. Former students of his include Tommy Dorsey and Jack Jenny. While accomplished as a performer and instructor, Cimera also mixed and marketed his own slide oil, ran his own publishing business (Apollo Music Company), established a record label (Cimera Records) and even brewed beer during prohibition.

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