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Jimmy Bertrand (1900-1960)

Jimmy BertrandPercussionist and xylophonist Jimmy Bertrand (24 February 1900 – August 1960) moved to Chicago in 1913 and played in the State Theatre Orchestra before joining Erskine Tate’s Vendome Orchestra from 1918 to 1928. He also did a great deal of teaching in the 1920s.

His pupils included Lionel Hampton and Big Sid Catlett. He often worked with pianist Jimmy Blythe who was the musical director of Jimmy Bertrand’s Washboard Wizards.

Bertrand went on to play with Doc Cooke and Lee Collins. He led his own band in Chicago in the 1930s and early 1940s, and then retired from music and worked in a meat packing plant. Jimmy Bertrand was the brother of Mabel Bertrand a Chicago show girl and the wife of Jelly Roll Morton from 1928 until his death.

Jimmy Bertrand’s Washboard Wizards


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