Barney Bigard

Albany Leon “Barney” Bigard, born March 3, 1906 and died June 27, 1980. He was an American jazz clarinetist. Bigard was born in New Orleans. He studied clarinet and music with Lorenzo Tio. In the 1920s, he moved to Chicago and worked alongside “King” Joe Oliver. Oliver, along with clarinetist Johnny Dodds, recorded a lot of this period on the tenor-saxophone. This was an instrument that he used often with great lyrics, such as in Oliver’s smash hit “Someday Sweetheart.” He joined Duke Ellington’s New York band in 1927, and stayed there until 1942. He was the clarinet soloist and did some section work on the tenor with Ellington. After leaving Ellington, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he did sound track work. He was featured in the 1946 film, “New Orleans,” with an allstar band that Louis Armstrong led. In the late 1940s, he began to work with Kid Ory’s trombonist band and then later, he worked with Louis Armstrong’s touring band the All Stars and other musicians. He was buried in Culver, California. Bigard’s autobiography, “With Louis and The Duke,” was published. He is credited with being a composer or co-composer of many numbers, including the Ellington tune ‘Mood Indigo. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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