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date: 26 January 2020

Russell, Luis Carllocked

(06 August 1902–11 December 1963)
  • Jack Sohmer

Extract

Russell, Luis Carl (06 August 1902–11 December 1963), jazz bandleader, arranger, and pianist, was born in Careening Cay in Bocas Del Toro Province, Panama, the son of Felix Alexander Russell, a pianist and music teacher who taught him several instruments. In 1917 he played piano accompanying silent films and the next year moved to Colon, where he played in the Casino Club with a small dance band. Nothing is known of Russell’s mother except that in 1919 she and her daughter accompanied him to New Orleans after he had won $3,000 in a lottery. Once settled, he studied jazz piano with Steve Lewis and in the fall of 1921 worked at the Cadillac Club in Arnold De Pass’s band, where he first met clarinetist ...

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