Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Wilbur de Paris!

Bandleader and trombone player Wilbur de Paris was born in Crawfordsville on January 11, 1900. The Paris family lived at 601 Illinois Street in Crawfordsville and his father, Sidney, is listed as an auctioneer in the city directory. Wilbur attended Crawfordsville High School and played the tuba in the school orchestra before traveling to New Orleans with Billy and Mary Mack's Merrymakers. Along with his brother, Sidney, Wilbur formed New New Orleans Jazz, a band that toured and released many records throughout the 1950s. He worked with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington. Wilbur and his band performed at the Cannes Jazz Festival in 1960 and were also showcased in The Pirate starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.  He died on January 3, 1973 at his home in New York City.

American National Biography
REF 920 Ame
Crawfordsville City Directory, 1914-1945 
RL977.248 Cra

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