Isaac M. "Ike" Carpenter

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Ike Carpenter
Birth name Isaac M. Carpenter
Born (1920-03-11)11 March 1920
Durham, North Carolina
Died 17 November 1998(1998-11-17) (aged 78)
Durham, North Carolina
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Bandleader, Pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active 1940s–1950s

Isaac M. "Ike" Carpenter (1920-1998) was a popular Jazz bandleader and pianist active in the 1940s and 1950s, most noted for his success in nightclubs on the West Coast during the post-World War II rise in popularity of American Jazz music.[1][2][3]

Musical career[edit]

Carpenter began performing on piano with bands at a very young age, in the mid-1930s.[4] After graduating from college, he performed with a number of successful musicians, including Johnnie Davis.[4]

In 1944, he worked briefly as a pianist in bandleader Boyd Raeburn's first influential jazz group,[4] then put together his first band, working gigs on the East coast. In 1947 he relocated to Hollywood,[4] where he formed a popular 12-man band that played primarily in the Los Angeles area, with tours up the West coast as far as Canada.[5]

In the 1950s, he left the band scene, and worked as an accompanist for performers in the Ice Capades.[4] In the late 1950s, he briefly returned to bandleading with small groups, before retiring to his hometown in North Carolina.[4]

He recorded for the Modern Records label, with much of his music arranged by noted Jazz arranger and composer Paul Villepigue.[6] Notable musicians who played with him include Lucky Thompson, Gerald Wilson, Ted Nash, and George Weidler.[6]

His band was featured in two Hollywood musical films in the 1950s, Rhythm and Rhyme and Holiday Rhythm.[4]


Carpenter was born on March 11, 1920 in Durham, North Carolina, where he died on November 17, 1998, at age 78.[7][8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Deaths: "Isaac "Ike" Carpenter, band leader and pianist, died 11/17/1998 at 78" in Cadence, 25(1), January 1999.
  2. ^ "Isaac M. Carpenter" in Who's Who in Entertainment, Second Edition, 1992-1993. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who, 1992.
  3. ^ "Isaac M. Carpenter" in International Musician, 97(8), February 1999.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Eugene Chadbourne: "Ike Carpenter Biography",, accessed 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Six Months With No Layoff Ain’t Hay" in Down Beat, July 28, 1948, p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Desne Villepigue Ahlers: Jazz Arranger and Composer Paul Villepigue,, accessed 16 June 2012.
  7. ^ U.S. Social Security Death Index, entry for Isaac M. Carpenter, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina.
  8. ^ "Carpenter, Ike (Isaac M.), Pianist and Band Leader" in New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition.