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Jean Goldkette (1899-1962)
Jean GoldketteJean Goldkette  (March 18, 1893? – March 24, 1962) emigrated from France to the United States in 1911. [Brief synopsis of possible years of birth.] He was a classical piano player. Jean Goldkette ‘s importance to jazz is as a bandleader in the 1920s. Goldkette actually had over 20 bands under his name by the mid-’20s, but it was his main unit (which recorded for Victor during 1924-29) that is the only one remembered today.

In 1926 the band included Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and Joe Venuti and the legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke ; Bix’s inability to sight-read at the time kept his first stint with Goldkette quite short. However in 1926 Bix became the orchestra’s top soloist and the jazz lineup was pretty impressive with such musicians as Frankie Trumbauer , Joe Venuti , Eddie Lang. The orchestra was among the best of the period, even defeating Fletcher Henderson at a Battle of the Bands contest in New York.

In 1927 Paul Whiteman hired away most of Goldkette’s top jazz players (including Bix and Tram ) and the band’s later recordings are of lesser interest although Hoagy Carmichael is heard on two vocals. Goldkette, who also helped organize McKinney’s Cotton Pickers and the Orange Blossoms (the latter became the Casa Loma Orchestra ), dropped out of the jazz business by the early ’30s, working as a booking agent and a classical piano soloist.

band or session leader

Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra Goldkette’s Book-Cadillac Orchestra


piano rolls

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
La Seduccion
(Henri Clique)
1916 Chicago, Illinois Imperial
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