John Kirby (musician)

John Kirby (musician)

John Kirby (December 31, 1908 – June 14, 1952), was a jazz double-bassist who played the trombone as well as tuba.


Kirby was born in Winchester, Virginia. In 1926 he moved to Baltimore, Maryland, a town he is still linked to by some. He played with Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson (where during the early 1930s, he performed some amazingly complicated tuba work on a number of Henderson's recordings) before starting his own band in 1937. His John Kirby's Sextet "The Onyx Club Boys" (usually included himself on bass, Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Buster Bailey on clarinet, Russell Procope on alto saxophone, Billy Kyle on piano and O'Neill Spencer on drums) would become one of the more significant "small groups" in a Big band era and had the first recording of Shavers' song "Undecided". He tended toward a lighter classical influenced style of jazz, which has strong defenders and critics. He was very prolific and popular from 1938-1941. After World War II his career declined and he died in Hollywood, California, just before a planned comeback. In 1993 he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. Unlike other then-popular "novelty" jazz groups (like Raymond Scott), Kirby is not particularly well remembered today; his small group light jazz style is a great example how swing can also be quite elegant.

External links

* [ BBC radio 2]
* [ All about Jazz (mostly negative)]
* [ Columbia University (more positive)]
*amg|id=11:wmfnzfghehok|label=John Kirby

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Kirby — (or Kirkby) is the name of several persons:* John Kirby (Canadian politician) (1772 1846), Canadian businessman politician * John Kirby (musician) (1908 1952), American jazz musician * John Kirby (Bishop) (born 1938), Irish bishop * John Kirby… …   Wikipedia

  • Steve Kirby (musician) — Steve Kirby (born May 23, 1956) is an American jazz bassist.Kirby was born in Maumee Valley, Ohio, and his family moved to St. Louis when he was two. He picked up guitar and electric bass while stationed at Fort Bragg, and following this he… …   Wikipedia

  • John Constantine — Cover to Hellblazer #189 (December 2003). Art by Tim Bradstreet. Publication information Publisher …   Wikipedia

  • Pete Brown (jazz musician) — James Ostend Pete Brown (November 9, 1906, Baltimore, Maryland September 20, 1963, New York City) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader.Brown learned to play piano, trumpet, and saxophone while young. He played in New York with… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Kirby — Infobox musical artist | Name = Robert Kirby | Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = non vocal instrumentalist Birth name = Robert Kirby Alias = Born = 1948 Died = Origin = Flagicon|UK Instrument = keyboards Voice type = Genre =… …   Wikipedia

  • Jerry Douglas (musician) — Infobox musical artist | Background = non vocal instrumentalist | Instrument = Dobro Name = Jerry Douglas Img capt = Img size = 250 Landscape = Yes Born = birth date and age|1956|5|28 in Warren, Ohio Died = Alias = Genre = Bluegrass, Country… …   Wikipedia

  • Andy Roberts (musician) — Infobox musical artist | Name = Andy Roberts Img size = Landscape = Background = solo singer Birth name = Andrew Roberts Alias = Born = Birth date and age|1946|6|12|df=y Harrow, Middlesex Died = Instrument = Guitar Genre = Rock Occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University — College of Saint Benedict Motto Sic Luceat Lux Vestra (so let your light shine) Established 1913 Type Private Religious affiliation …   Wikipedia

  • Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York — The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, officially the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in the City and Diocese of New York, is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The cathedral is nicknamed St. John the Unfinished. [Peter… …   Wikipedia

  • College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University — Infobox University name = College of Saint Benedict image size = caption = motto = Sic Luceat Lux Vestra (so let your light shine) established = 1913 type = Private affiliation = Roman Catholic endowment = president = MaryAnn Baenninger provost …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”