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Jack Sohmer

jazz trombonist, was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the son of Sidney De Paris, a trombonist, music teacher, and bandleader. Nothing is known of his mother except that she played alto horn. In 1907 Wilbur also started playing the alto horn, and by 1916 he was playing baritone horn in his father's band. His younger brother Sidney De Paris also had been added to the band on cornet. Throughout the 1910s the De Paris Family Band toured in carnivals and tent shows and played on the Theater Owners’ Booking Association (TOBA) vaudeville circuit. After Wilbur had switched to trombone, sometime between 1919 and 1922, he joined Billy and Mary Mack's Merrymakers and traveled with them to New Orleans, where he sat in with the trumpeter Louis Armstrong at Tom Anderson's Cabaret and worked with Armand Piron's orchestra. In 1925 he led a band in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and ...


Scott Yanow

jazz trombonist and vibraphonist, was born in Corsicana, Texas. His parents’ names are not recorded. Glenn began playing trombone when he was young and started his career working with local groups in Texas.

Glenn spent a long period performing with territory bands. He was featured with Tommy Mills's Orchestra, mostly in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, from 1934 to 1936; was in Los Angeles with Charlie Echols's big band in 1936; played with Eddie Barefield; and toured with Ethel Waters's backup band in 1939. After a brief stint with Benny Carter, he spent six years (1940–1946) with the Cab Calloway Orchestra. By then he was occasionally doubling on vibes (including on the recording of “Bye Bye Blues”) in addition to being the main trombone soloist. After leaving Calloway, Glenn toured Europe with Don Redman's band in 1946 staying overseas for a few months ...


Leslie Gourse

trombonist and arranger, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Lucille Liston, a domestic worker, and Frank Liston, an amateur musician who died when Melba was young. At age six Liston fell in love with a trombone in a pawnshop window. “I picked the trombone visually,” she told a reporter forty years later. “I just liked what it looked like in a store window. I became obsessed with the trombone and got one in the school system. I … learned by ear to play ‘Deep River,’ church, and folk pieces.” Melba lived with her grandparents, who also had a young daughter. Liston had approval for her music from her mother, who eventually bought her a trombone. “A child has to have some hobby,” Liston said. “My mother worked away … and I had my dear trombone” (interview with the author).

Liston s young aunt liked ...