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Rainer E. Lotz

(b São Paulo, 1892; d Rio de Janeiro, 1979). Brazilian bandleader, violinist, and saxophonist. He studied music in Rio de Janeiro (1917–19) and directed his own dance orchestra, gradually changing its repertory from Latin American music to jazz. He recorded prolifically on the Odeon label (1919–24) and although he did not perform as a soloist he became one of the pioneers of jazz in Brazil. While touring Europe (1924–34) he played for a time with the dancer and bandleader Grégor Kélékian. He made several recordings for Grammophon in Berlin (including Everything is hotsy totsy now, 20338, and Big Bad Bill, 20340, both 1926), some of which show to advantage the hot trumpet playing of Mickey Diamond and the blue blowing on kazoo of Sydney Sterling. (R. E. Lotz: “Eduardo Andreozzi: the Jazz Pioneer from Brazil,” Sv, no.122 (1985–6), 62 [incl. discography])...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

(b Berlin, Feb 7, 1886; d Amsterdam, July 30, 1934). German bandleader, alto saxophonist, and clarinetist. He played first clarinet with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra before World War I. After hearing jazz in the USA in 1918–19, he organized a band modeled on the Louisiana Five. He accompanied silent films and also appeared as a jazz bandleader in two films (...

Article

Lawrence Koch

[Charles Cyril ]

(b Ironton, MO, Dec 30, 1890; d Chicago, Oct 23, 1951). American trumpeter, bandleader, saxophonist, and accordionist. He spent his teens playing trumpet in circus and theater bands, and returned to the St. Louis area about 1919. He then led groups on the Streckfus fleet of riverboats, which traveled to and from New Orleans, and soon became so popular that he had several bands working under his name. He and Fate Marable were leaders of a group on the SS Capitol during 1927, but Creath’s career was interrupted by a two-year illness. Thereafter he played mostly alto saxophone and accordion. Marable and he collaborated again during the mid-1930s, after which Creath opened a nightclub in Chicago. He suffered ill-health during his last years. Although he was praised by his contemporaries for the rhythmic swing and brilliant tone of his trumpet playing, Creath is best remembered as a highly influential leader in St. Louis music circles. Among the members of his bands were Ed Allen, Pops Foster, Lonnie Johnson, and his brother-in-law Zutty Singleton....

Article

Alden Ashforth

(L., Sr. )

(b New Orleans, Sept 11, 1893, d Pacoima, CA, Dec 2, 1959). American trumpeter and bandleader. He had cornet lessons with Manuel Perez for seven years from 1907 and was working in Perez’s Onward Brass Band by 1914. After playing into early 1920s with the Silver Bell Band (led by the trombonist Leonard Bechet), the Excelsior Brass Band, the Maple Leaf Orchestra, and the Tuxedo Brass Band, from about 1921 to 1925 he worked with Ed Allen and Fate Marable on the riverboat Capitol; he performs a stop-time solo on Marable’s recording of Frankie and Johnnie (1924, OK 40113). In the late 1920s he led the Southern Syncopaters on the SS Island Queen, and in the 1930s he directed the Sidney Desvigne Orchestra aboard the SS Capitol; he also led a big band that played for dances in New Orleans. Desvigne was not a hot jazz musician and his bands played almost entirely from arrangements. However, he allowed for the occasional hot solo, especially when performing for African-American audiences, by engaging such players as the trumpeter Eugene Ware, the clarinetist Theodore Purnell, Emanuel Sayles, and Louis Nelson. His riverboat career extended to the end of ...

Article

Michael Tovey and Barry Kernfeld

(b Laplace, LA, April 30, 1887; d Lafayette, LA, 1960). American clarinetist and bandleader. His father was a violinist and bandleader, and he first played guitar and clarinet in a band formed by his three elder brothers. In 1913 he joined a local ensemble led by Kid Ory with which he traveled to New Orleans, where he took lessons from Lorenzo Tio, Jr., and George Baquet. Later he led his own band at various clubs before moving in April 1917 to Chicago. Duhé led the band that played nightly at the Dreamland Café. Early in 1918 it consisted of King Oliver, Roy Palmer, Sidney Bechet, the saxophonist J. Pollard, Lil Hardin (the future Lil Armstrong), Wellman Braud, and Minor Hall; Honore Dutrey and Willie Humphrey (rather than Palmer and Bechet) were present for its appearance as the White Sox Booster Band at the infamous “Black Sox” baseball world series of ...

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Erik Wiedemann

(Sophus Gerlach )

(b Kolding, Denmark, Aug 23, 1892; d Copenhagen, July 14, 1965). Danish saxo-phonist and bandleader. He began his career as a banjoist and in 1923 became the first Danish jazz saxophonist, playing initially C-melody then alto saxophone. The same year he formed the first notable Danish jazz band, which during the 1920s included leading Danish jazz musicians such as Kai Ewans and Peter Rasmussen among its members; it made the earliest jazz recordings in Denmark (notably ...

Article

Charles Kinzer, Howard Rye, and Barry Kernfeld

[Charles Anthony ]

(b New Orleans, June 13, 1879; d Chicago, Aug 1973). American bandleader. Although he was widely known as Charlie, he adamantly wished to be called Charles and appears thus in primary sources. His full name and the year of his birth (1879, not 1885 as previously published) are taken from his oral history file at Tulane University; Averty’s interview (1989) confirms the earlier year. Elgar learned violin from around the age of five. From 1903 he worked in Chicago; jazz reference sources have him returning to New Orleans from around 1908 to 1913, but Chicago census and city directory records place him in the city permanently, and no parallel record appears in New Orleans after 1903; he did however, maintain contact with musicians in New Orleans and paved the way for others, such as Manuel Perez and the trombonist George Filhe, to move to Chicago with work already organized. Elgar held long-term engagements in Chicago (notably at Harmon’s Dreamland Ballroom from ...

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Rainer E. Lotz

(b Berlin, Nov 20, 1891; ? d USA, after 1933). German bandleader and pianist. He claimed to have been a member of one of Paul Whiteman’s orchestras in the USA. From around 1924 in Berlin he led the Follies Band, with which he made recordings (including Copenhagen, 1925, Homocord ...

Article

J.R. Taylor

[Andrew Dewey ]

(b Newport, KY, May 28, 1898; d New York, NY, Dec 11, 1992). American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. He spent his childhood in Denver, where he studied piano, singing, alto saxophone, and music theory with Paul Whiteman’s father, Wilberforce Whiteman, among others. In 1918 he joined George Morrison’s orchestra as a bass saxophonist and tuba player. Around 1927 he moved to Dallas, where he joined Terrence Holder’s Dark Clouds of Joy orchestra; he assumed its leadership in 1929. In that year he transferred the band to Kansas City, Missouri, where it was known as the Clouds of Joy (among other related titles), rivaled Bennie Moten’s band, and made its first recordings (1929–30). From 1930 he made several nationwide tours, although the band continued to be based primarily in Kansas City. The success of “Until the Real Thing Comes along” (1936, Decca) established the band’s lasting popularity. Until the group disbanded in ...

Article

Jack Stewart

[George Vital(is) ]

(b New Orleans, LA, Sept 21, 1873; d New Orleans, LA, June 1, 1966). American drummer, alto horn player, and bandleader. Primarily a bass drum player, he also played snare drum, drum set, alto horn, and string bass. He was leading string bands and brass bands by 1889 and led a drum and bugle corps during the Spanish-American War. His specialty was funerals, and he operated within an established territory of the Algiers and Gretna neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Laine organized his Reliance Brass Band around 1900. As demand for dance music grew, he added pianists, guitarists, and string bass players to the brass band lineup. Laine’s bands were multiethnic and included light-skinned blacks he could hire without running afoul of the law. Some members had musical training, others had none, resulting in a successful combination of readers and fakers. Laine hired many musicians, 150 of whom have identified. A third of these became mainstays of early jazz. Members of Tom Brown’s band, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the Louisiana Five, Jimmy Durante’s band, and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings became internationally famous....

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Howard Rye

(b Louisville, KY, Oct 2, 1885; d Louisville, KY, April 28, 1949). American jug blower, singer, and bandleader. A different date of birth appears on his death certificate but the date here was given by McDonald himself to two separate sources. His family moved to Louisville when he was two. He heard the pioneer jug blower B. D. Tite on the streets in 1900 and by 1902 had organized his own Louisville Jug Band, which played for parties and at the racetrack during Derby week. The band appeared at the New York Hippodrome in 1914 and later in Chicago at Lamb’s Café (summer 1915), the Casino Gardens (winter 1916–17), and the Classic Café (1920). In 1924 a group organized jointly with Clifford Hayes visited New York, where they made some recordings as Sara Martin’s Jug Band, notably Blue Devil Blues/Jug Band Blues (OK 8188). Versions of the Louisville Jug Band recorded later for OKeh under Clifford Hayes’s name (...

Article

Howard Rye

(Alfonso)

(b New York, Dec 17, 1885; d Washington, Sept 12, 1957). American drummer, and bandleader. He first worked in vaudeville and in 1912 moved to New York, where he led the Southern Symphony Quintet. His band was resident in London in 1914, after which he toured the USA with the Clef Club Orchestra led by the cellist Walter Kildare. The following year Mitchell returned to London to play at Ciro’s Club with the band led by Kildare’s brother Dan, a pianist. He left in June 1915 before the band recorded and formed a variety act with the pianist Joe Jordan. He later worked as a solo drummer at the London Hippodrome until August 1916. He then formed a band of English ragtime musicians to accompany the dancer La Belle Leonora, playing in Paris in November. After this he formed the Syncopating Sextette, which included the Neapolitan bandolin player Carlo d’Amato and his English-born banjoist daughter Aida. They played in Glasgow in ...

Article

Howard Rye

(b Kansas City, MO, July 7, 1888; d San Francisco, June 25, 1957). American drummer, bandleader, and nightclub owner. In the 1910s he toured with the Tennessee Ten and led his own band in Chicago. Having moved to California, he operated a record store in Oakland around 1921 before going on tour with Mamie Smith’s Jazz Hounds. His presence has been suggested on recordings by Smith made in May 1922, but has not been securely established. Back in California he formed his own band, known from time to time as the Kansas City Blue Blowers or the Dixieland Blue Blowers. In November 1924 the group began a long residency at Solomon’s Dance Pavilion DeLuxe in Los Angeles, during which private recordings were made that have fortuitously survived; in 1927 it moved to the Bronx Palm Gardens and in October it began a series of recordings for Columbia. This band, in which Jake Porter, Les Hite, and Henry Starr were sidemen, was also the house band at the Lincoln Theater. In ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

(b Berlin, Aug 2, 1920). German bandleader, arranger, and trombonist. He studied violin and trombone, and following military service he joined Kutte Widmann as a trombonist and arranger (1946); Flamingo (1947, Odeon 31833) is a notable example from Widmann’s recordings of Müller’s arrangements. In 1948...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

revised by Howard Rye

(b Lamentin, Martinique, Dec 18, 1896; d Paris, June 15, 1957). Martinique drummer and bandleader. Notte moved to France in 1916 to join the army. He performed with Arthur Briggs in 1923 and Bertin Salnave in 1925. During the 1930s he worked in Paris, notably at the club La Coupole and Cabane Cubaine. In ...

Article

Karl Koenig

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[(Emile) Emanuel]

(b New Orleans, Dec 28, 1878; d New Orleans, 1946). American cornetist and bandleader. In a revision of an earlier article, De Donder (1993) confirms that Perez was born in 1878; 1871, which he had given earlier, is instead the year of birth of another man of the same name (who was white, and not a musician). A cigar maker by trade, Perez received classical training on cornet from the age of 12 and was active in brass and dance bands in New Orleans; by his own account he was playing ragtime on cornet in 1898. He joined the Onward Brass Band (see Onward Brass Band) in 1900 and led it from 1903 until it disbanded in 1930; he was also the leader of the of the Imperial Orchestra (c1901–1912). In the mid 1910s he spent two years in Chicago, where remembrances of his activites are confusing and contradictory. The most likely account places him there from ...

Article

Bruce Boyd Raeburn

[Crawford, Joseph ]

(b, New Orleans, LA, c1897; d New Orleans, LA, July 4, 1931). American jazz cornetist and bandleader. Buddy Petit began his professional career as a founding member of the Young Olympia Band, formed when Olympia Band cornetist Freddie Keppard left New Orleans to join the Original Creole Band in Los Angeles in 1914. Other members of the Young Olympia were clarinetist Jimmie Noone, trombonist Zue Robertson, banjoist Simon Marrero, bassist John Marrero, and drummer Arnold DePass, and shortly afterward Noone and Petit co-led a band of their own at places such as the Pythian Temple until the clarinetist left to join Keppard in Chicago for the Creole Band’s final vaudeville season in 1917–8. Petit made a short trip to Los Angeles in 1917 to work with Jelly Roll Morton before returning to New Orleans and situating himself as one of the top bandleaders on the regional (Texas-Florida) scene. A photograph taken in Mandeville, Louisiana, ...

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(bc1885; d Chicago, May 1955). American bandleader and pianist. After playing in Wilbur Sweatman’s trio in Chicago from around 1908 to 1912 he led his own band in the city; among his sidemen in the late 1920s were Charlie Allen, George Mitchell, Bob Shoffner, Reuben Reeves, Kid Ory, Bud Scott, Jasper Taylor, Jimmy Bertrand, and Baby Dodds, and in the early 1930s Preston Jackson, Darnell Howard, Jerome Don Pasquall, and Lee Collins. He also worked as a band contractor and supplied musicians for other engagements. In the mid-1930s his orchestra was resident at the Regal Theatre, after which he performed mainly as a soloist until the late 1940s. Peyton was best known for his abilities as a leader and organizer. He took part in only one recording session, with Richard M. Jones, though his band recorded in 1928 under the titular leadership of Fess Williams (Dixie Stomp/Drifting and Dreaming...

Article

Mike Hazeldine

(b Thibodaux, LA, Jan 16, 1866; d New Orleans, 1939). American bandleader, drummer, and violinist, uncle of Joseph Robichaux. After moving to New Orleans in 1891 he played bass drum with the Excelsior Brass Band from 1892 to 1903. Principally as a violinist, he led various bands from 1893 until his death, including a 36-piece orchestra, formed in 1913; his ensembles, which played mainly at sight, included many of the city’s best musicians. He made a large number of orchestral arrangements (now housed in the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University in New Orleans; see Libraries and archives §2) and composed more than 350 songs. Robichaux should not be confused with his nephew John Robichaux (b New Orleans, c1915), also a drummer, who was active mainly in Louisiana; he joined the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra in 1971 and toured widely with this and with the musical show ...

Article

John Graziano

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Lee )

(b Indianapolis, July 10, 1889; d Tampa, FL, Dec 17, 1975). American singer, songwriter, and bandleader. He sang professionally from 1908, and worked as a singer and dancer through his years at De Pauw University, Greencastle, Indiana (1913), and Butler University, Indianapolis (1914 – May 1915). He formed his first orchestra in 1915 and then left university to form a duo with Eubie Blake in Baltimore. After working in society dance bands led by Bob Young and James Reese Europe he resumed his songwriting and performing partnership with Blake, then in September 1916 rejoined Europe in New York. He became a drum major in Europe’s 369th US Infantry band, with which he toured overseas in 1918; he remained in the band until its leader was murdered in May 1919. In the 1920s Sissle achieved much success as a singer and songwriter in vaudeville and on Broadway with Blake (for illustration ...