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Donald James

cornetist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and college educator, was born Nathaniel Adderley in Tampa, Florida, the second of two sons of Julian Adderley Sr. and Jessie Adderley. Julian Sr. was an educator who played trumpet and cornet, thus becoming Nat's first music teacher. Jessie was also a teacher. Nat's only sibling, Julian Adderley Jr., nicknamed “Cannonball” because of his rotund build, was three years older than his brother. The Adderleys moved from Tampa to Tallahassee, Florida, when Nat was a toddler so that Julian Sr. and Jessie could take teaching jobs at Florida A&M College (FAMC), a historically black school. The college changed its name to Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1953.

Cannonball was the first of the two brothers to play trumpet He later became more interested in the alto saxophone leaving his trumpet to sit idle Nat showed no ...

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James Dapogny

(b New Orleans, Aug 4, 1901; d New York, July 6, 1971). American jazz trumpeter, singer and bandleader.

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Kathy J. Ogren

One of the twentieth century's premier jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong was born in poverty in New Orleans. He first learned to play brass instruments in Joseph Jones's Colored Waifs' Home. His skills matured in settings where ensemble jazz improvisation first evolved, including street parades, dance halls, and Fate Marable's Mississippi riverboat band. Armstrong's considerable influence as a jazz pioneer began with membership in the bands of Edward (“Kid”) Ory (1918) and Joseph (“King”) Oliver (1922), with whom he first recorded in 1923. Armstrong also collaborated with blues musicians like Bessie Smith.

A virtuoso trumpet soloist, Armstrong through his Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings (1925–1928) disseminated jazz improvisation to a wide audience. His initial success was followed by fame as a band leader and vocalist; beginning in 1929, he fronted his own bands, including Louis Armstrong's All Stars (1947 ...

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Karl Rodabaugh

jazz cornet player, trumpeter, and vocalist. Louis Armstrong's musical style and charismatic personality transformed jazz from a “raucous” and “vulgar” regional form of dance music into an internationally beloved popular art form. Also known as “Satchel-mouth” and “Pops,” Armstrong first gained renown as an innovative cornet player and trumpeter whose creative energy helped bring about the movement of jazz into swing in the 1920s. But he also achieved fame as a vocalist whose distinctive style, including some specific features identified as “Afro-American,” influenced scores of jazz singers and thus played a significant role in shaping popular music of the twentieth century.

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Frank Tirro

jazz trumpeter and singer, known universally as “Satchmo” and later as “Pops,” was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of William Armstrong, a boiler stoker in a turpentine plant, and Mary Est “Mayann” Albert, a laundress. Abandoned by his father shortly after birth, Armstrong was raised by his paternal grandmother, Josephine, until he was returned to his mother's care at age five. Mother and son moved from Jane Alley, in a violence‐torn slum, to an only slightly better area, Franklyn and Perdido streets, where nearby cheap cabarets gave the boy his first introduction to the new kind of music, jazz, that was developing in New Orleans. Although Armstrong claims to have heard the early jazz cornetist Buddy Bolden when he was about age five, this incident may be apocryphal. As a child, he worked odd jobs, sang in a vocal quartet, and around 1911 bought a ...

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More than anyone else, Louis Armstrong was responsible for legitimizing and popularizing jazz for a wider public. A much-admired jazz trumpeter and gravel-voiced vocalist, Armstrong was also a consummate entertainer, steadily expanding his career from instrumentalist to popular singer, to film and television personality, and, ultimately, to cultural icon. He acquired many nicknames throughout his life, including Dippermouth, Pops, and Satchelmouth—the latter often contracted to Satchmo. As Satchmo, he was instantly identifiable around the world, decades before PrinceMadonna, or Sting. The international appeal of his music in effect made Armstrong the American goodwill ambassador to the world.

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Charles Blancq

jazz musician, was born Charles Joseph Bolden in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Westmore Bolden, a drayman, and Alice Harrison. Although Bolden is one of the earliest known figures in the development of jazz in New Orleans, there was little factual information about him until the publication in 1978 of Donald M. Marquis's In Search of Buddy Bolden. In this admirable piece of investigative research, Marquis dispels much of the rumor that had grown around Bolden's life in New Orleans and establishes him as an important member of the founding generation of jazz musicians. Marquis confirms that Bolden was not a barber and did not own a barbershop, as popularly believed, although he apparently spent considerable time at barbershops, which served as musicians' meeting places, where information on jobs could be exchanged. Nor did he edit a “scandal sheet” called the Cricket He did ...

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Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Charles Joseph “Buddy” Bolden was a pioneering and creative force in the development of pre-jazz and early Jazz in turn-of-the-century New Orleans. Bolden began playing cornet in a professional band in his teens and quickly established a reputation for a clear, powerful tone. Soon Bolden was leading his own band, earning the title King from an appreciative African American public. Bolden's influence came at a time when New Orleans was alive with bands of black musicians performing for marches, dances, and saloons. As a soloist Bolden had a keen ear and memory, which lent to skills in improvisation and embellishment. He is reportedly the first to “rag the blues” for dancing and thus to have essentially created jazz. Popular folklore has it that his cornet tone was so strong that people could hear him from across the Mississippi River.

Jazz historians consider that Bolden ...

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Jack Sohmer

jazz trumpeter, was born Thomas Carey in Hahnville, Louisiana, a small town west of New Orleans. Nothing is known of his parents, but of seventeen siblings, five of his brothers, including the legendary trombonist and bandleader Jack Carey, were also musicians. His first instruments were drums, guitar, and alto horn, but around 1912 he started playing cornet, working in his brother Jack's ragtime marching band and other similar groups. In 1914, along with the clarinetist Johnny Dodds and the bassist Pops Foster, he played in the trombonist Kid Ory's band and in 1917 toured with Billy and Baby Mack's Merrymakers revue in a group that included Dodds and the pianist Steve Lewis. After leaving the Merrymakers, on the suggestion of the cornetist King Oliver Carey took a job with the clarinetist Lawrence Duhé s Original Creole Band at the Pekin Café in Chicago but not ...

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Nathaniel Friedman

jazz cornetist and composer, was born Donald Eugene Cherry in Oklahoma City. From an early age, music was a part of his life; when the family moved to Los Angeles in the mid-forties, his father worked as a bartender at the Plantation Club, the city's premier jazz club, and his mother played piano around the house.

When Cherry's family arrived in Los Angeles, the city was home to a vital modern jazz scene. Musicians like bassist Charles Mingus, trumpeter Howard McGhee, tenor saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, and pianist Hampton Hawes quickly absorbed the lessons of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, whose 1946 California jaunt fast became the stuff of bebop lore. A young Cherry gravitated toward jazz, eventually studying at Jefferson High School with Samuel Brown, who had taught Gray and Hawes, among others. Despite his father's protestations, by 1954 Cherry was ...

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Ronald P. Dufour

trumpeter, was born William Geary Johnson in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of William Johnson and Theresa (maiden name unknown), a cook, both former slaves. Though his early life remains shrouded in obscurity, Johnson claimed that he learned to play the cornet from Professor Wallace Cutchey, a music teacher at New Orleans University. His mother bought him an inexpensive cornet when he was about fourteen, and he played his first job with Adam Olivier's band in 1904 or 1905. Johnson also claimed that he played with Buddy Bolden during this period, but this seems unlikely. He did play with the popular Eagle Band in parades, and in 1908Pops Foster heard him playing with the Superior Orchestra, a ragtime band.

Johnson s tenure with the Superior Orchestra was cut short by the excessive drinking habits that plagued him his entire life Over the next few years he ...

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Barry Kernfeld

cornetist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father was a cook; his parents' names are unknown. His older brother, the guitarist and tuba player Louis Keppard, claimed that Freddie was born in 1889 and first played violin, then mandolin and accordion, though he is known to have played guitar. He took up cornet at the age of sixteen. According to Alphonse Picou, he first played cornet in public at a picnic when Manuel Perez became ill. Picking up Perez's cornet, he played blues. It was well received, and thereafter he put aside the guitar. Keppard studied cornet with Adolphe Alexander Sr.

Details of Keppard's activities are confusing. Accounts are casual and conflicting, bands shifted personnel to suit the circumstances of day-to-day life, and musicians and historians have tried to give contributions an enhanced significance by moving the chronology forward. Early on Keppard played with Pops Foster ...

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Clifford Edward Watkins

circus minstrel, vaudeville bandleader, soloist, and entrepreneur, was born Perry George Lowery in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of eight children of Rachel (Tucker) and Andrew Lowery. “P. G.,” as he was known, was so proficient on the cornet that he was called the “World's Greatest Colored Cornet Soloist” by his teacher, Boston Conservatory Professor H. C. Brown (Indianapolis Freeman, 22 Feb. 1896).

During Reconstruction land promoters led wagon trains of newly emancipated black citizens to settle the recently opened former Indian Territory The Lowery family was among these and settled in Reece near Eureka Kansas on a 180 acre plot on Spring Creek in Greenwood County Soon after their arrival the Lowery family who were singers and instrumentalists organized the Star of the West Brass Band which became popular in the area How P G learned to play the cornet so well ...

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Barry Kernfeld

cornetist and bandleader, was born in Bertrandville, Louisiana, the son of a railroad worker. The names of his parents are unknown. Although Morgan's year of birth has been given as 1895, his tombstone in Holt Cemetery offers exact dates, together with the inscription “age 48 years.” His parents sang in a Baptist church, and his brothers Isaiah, also a cornetist, and Andrew, a clarinetist and saxophonist, played with Sam. His youngest brother, Albert, a string bassist, also played with Isaiah's group but had a separate, distinguished career in jazz.

After playing in brass bands in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, in 1915 Sam Morgan moved to New Orleans, where he led the Magnolia dance band and the Magnolia brass band while working as a track laborer for the Grand Island Railroad. He suffered a stroke in 1924. By autumn 1926 he was sufficiently recovered to ...

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Joseph Oliver was born in Donaldsville, Louisiana. After his family moved to New Orleans, he learned to play the trombone from local street musicians. He soon switched to the cornet and trumpet, and by 1907 Oliver had begun to play professionally with various local brass bands.

From 1916 to 1919 Oliver played in Edward “Kid” Ory'sband. Ory gave him the moniker “King” because he was the best cornetist in the most popular Jazz band in New Orleans. In 1918 Oliver was courted by bassist/banjoist Bill Johnson to join his band in Chicago, Illinois. A year later, Oliver moved to Chicago, where he became first cornetist in the Johnson-led Creole Jazz Band. Oliver soon assumed the leadership of the band, taking them to California from 1920 to 1921.

Returning to Chicago Oliver solidified the Creole Jazz Band with powerful new members creating one of the most ...

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Lawrence Gushee

(b ?New Orleans, May 11, 1885; d Savannah, GA, 8/April 10, 1938). American jazz cornettist and bandleader . He is said to have begun to study music as a trombonist, and from about 1907 he played in brass bands, dance bands and various small black American groups in New Orleans bars and cabarets. In 1918 he moved to Chicago (at which time he may have acquired his nickname), and in 1920 he began to lead his own band. After taking it to California in 1921, he returned to Chicago and started an engagement at Lincoln Gardens as King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (June 1922). This group was joined a month later by the 22-year-old Louis Armstrong as second cornettist. Oliver began recording in April 1923 Many young white jazz musicians had the opportunity to hear him then either ...

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Lawrence Gushee

cornetist and bandleader, was born Joseph Oliver in or near New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Jessie Jones, a cook; his father's identity is unknown. After completing elementary school, Oliver probably had a variety of menial jobs, and he worked as a yardman for a well-to-do clothing merchant. He appears to have begun playing cornet relatively late, perhaps around 1905. For the next ten years he played in a variety of brass bands and large and small dance bands, coming to prominence about 1915. Between 1916 and 1918 Oliver was the cornetist of trombonist Edward “Kid” Ory's orchestra, which was one of the most highly regarded African American dance orchestras in New Orleans. Early in 1919 Oliver moved to Chicago and soon became one of the most sought-after bandleaders in the cabarets of the South Side black entertainment district.

In early 1921 Oliver accepted ...

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Barry Kernfeld

brass band and dance band cornetist, was born Emile Emanuel Perez in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Catholic and a Creole, he was the son of a Hispanic father and an African American mother, whose names are unknown. His parents ran a grocery on Touro Street, and his father was also a cigar maker. Manuel was educated in a French-speaking grammar school, and he was raised on European classical and popular music. He took up cornet at age twelve, after which he entered the emerging world of syncopated music that later became ragtime and jazz.

While working steadily as a cigar maker Perez played in brass bands and dance bands in New Orleans, and he recalled that he was already playing ragtime on cornet in 1898. He married Lena (maiden name unknown) in 1900 they had at least one child That same year he joined the Onward Brass ...

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J. Bradford Robinson

(bPhiladelphia, Feb 22, 1907; dLos Angeles, Sept 7, 1967). American jazz cornettist. He played in minor New York groups from 1921 before becoming a cornettist in Fletcher Henderson’s band in 1926. Feeling unequal to this position, which had previously been filled by Louis Armstrong, he soon left to join Horace Henderson’s Wilberforce College group, but by 1928 he had returned to Fletcher Henderson, with whom he remained (with interruptions) until 1933, contributing many solos in a forceful, good-humoured style, indebted equally to Armstrong, Bubber Miley and Bix Beiderbecke. In 1934 Stewart joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, beginning his most creative period. During his 11 years with the band he created a distinctive element in Ellington’s ensemble sound, particularly with his mock conversational ‘talking’ style and the novel half-valve effects which he explored from 1937 Stewart was co composer of ...

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Jack Sohmer

jazz cornetist, was born Rex William Stewart in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Rex Stewart, a violinist and singer, and Jane Johnson, a pianist, who taught him music from the age of four. In 1914 he started playing alto horn and then cornet in a boys' band in Washington, D.C., where his parents had settled sometime earlier. After three years' experience with this group he played on the Potomac riverboats and then in 1920 joined Ollie Blackwell's Jazz Clowns to tour with Rosa Henderson's blues revue, Go-Get-It. When the show folded in Philadelphia he found work with the Musical Spillers, a family vaudeville act whose code of behavior Stewart violated so often that he was dismissed in 1923. Instead of returning home, though, he stayed in New York City to freelance in dozens of small Harlem clubs.

In the fall of 1924 after an engagement ...