Jazz Birthday

Jabbo Smith

Jabbo Smith

Jabbo Smith was born Cladys Smith in Pembroke, Georgia, on December 24, 1908. After the death of his father, his mother found it increasingly difficult

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Joe Sullivan Piano

Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan was born Joseph Michael O’Sullivan in Chicago on November 4, 1906. The last of nine children, Joe demonstrated serious musical ability at an

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Eddie Lang by Joe Busam

Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang was born Salvatore Massaro in Philadelphia on October 25, 1902. His personal and musical history is inextricably linked with that of Joe Venuti,

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Vaughn De Leath

Vaughn De Leath

Vaughn De Leath was born Leonore Vonderlieth in Mount Pulaski, Illinois, on September 26, 1894. At age 12, Leonore relocated to Los Angeles with her

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Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman was born Abraham Simon on August 4, 1897, in Chicago, Illinois. He and his brother Mike changed their last name to Lyman because

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Noble Sissle

Noble Sissle

Noble Sissle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 10, 1889. While still a teenager, he toured in vaudeville in the Midwest with a male

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Punch Miller

Punch Miller

Ernest “Punch” Miller was born in Raceland, Louisiana, on June 10, 1894. Since his twin sister was named Ernestine Judy, it was natural that he

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Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet

Sidney Joseph Bechet was born in New Orleans on May 14, 1897. Sidney grew up in a middle-class Creole household, and learned several musical instruments

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Zez Confrey by Joe Busam

Zez Confrey

Edward Elzear “Zez” Confrey was born in Peru, Illinois, on April 3, 1895. Zez grew up in a musical household in which his older brother,

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Ben Selvin

Ben Selvin

Benjamin Bernard Selvin was born March 5, 1898, in New York. He began playing violin before age seven and studied to be a concert violinist.

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Irving Kaufman

Irving Kaufman

Irving Kaufman was born on February 8, 1890, in Syracuse, New York. At an early age he entered vaudeville with his brothers Philip and Jack.

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Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker was born Sofya Kalish on January 13, 1886, in what is now Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. She arrived with her family in Boston in

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Joe King Oliver

Joseph “King” Oliver

The date and birthplace of Joseph Nathan Oliver are uncertain. The date given by many sources is December 19, 1885. Whenever and wherever he was

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Bennie Moten by Joe Busam

Bennie Moten

Benjamin “Bennie” Moten was born on November 13, 1894. Moten grew up in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri’s dance hall district, and developed a

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Joe Venuti violin

Joe Venuti

Giuseppe “Joe” Venuti was born in Philadelphia on September 16, 1903. Joe was classically trained as a violinist from an early age. Salvatore Massaro, friend

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Nick Lucas

Nick Lucas

Nick Lucas was born Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucinese on August 22, 1897, in Newark, New Jersey. When Nick was about nine years old, his older

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Don Redman

Don Redman

Don Redman was born July 29, 1900, in Piedmont, Mineral County, West Virginia. His parents were musical, so it was natural that he would take

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Adrian Rollini cartoon

Adrian Rollini

Adrian Rollini was born in New York on June 28, 1903. Growing up in Larchmont, New York, Adrian proved to be a musical wunderkind; at

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Irving Berlin Illustration by Artistgaryprice.com

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 23, 1888, in Tyumen, Siberia. Israel’s family emigrated to the United States when he was five years

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Billie Holiday cartoon

Billie Holiday

Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, was born April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Sarah Julia “Sadie” Fagan and Clarence Holiday. Much

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Paul Whiteman by ArtistGaryPrice.com

Paul Whiteman

Paul Samuel Whiteman was born in Denver, Colorado, on March 28, 1890. His father Wilberforce was director of music for Denver School District #2. Paul

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Chick Webb by ArtistGaryPrice.com

Chick Webb

William Henry “Chick” Webb was born February 10, 1905, in Baltimore, Maryland. From early childhood he was afflicted with tuberculosis of the spine. Owing to

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Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt was born January 23, 1910, in Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a Belgian family of Manouche Romani descent. Django grew up in Romani encampments near

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