Art Hodes

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Art Hodes
Art Hodes, Henry Allen, Pete Johnson, Lou McGarity, and Lester Young, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., ca. 1940 (William P. Gottlieb 03601).jpg
Art Hodes on the piano at left
Background information
Born (1904-11-14)November 14, 1904
Nikolayev, Russian Empire
Died March 4, 1993(1993-03-04) (aged 88)
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, Mezz Mezzrow

Arthur W. Hodes (November 14, 1904 in Russian Empire – March 4, 1993 in Harvey, Illinois), known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist.


Hodes was born in Ukraine. His family settled in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow.

Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.

In the late 1960s Hodes starred in a series of TV shows on Chicago style jazz called "Jazz Alley". Here he appeared with musicians such as Pee Wee Russell and Jimmy McPartland. Episodes of the show are available on DVD.

Hodes was editor of the magazine, The Jazz Record, for five years in the 1940s.[1]

He remained an educator and writer in jazz. During this period of his life and into the 1970s Hodes resided in south suburban Park Forest, Illinois.

He toured the UK in 1987 recording with drummer John Petters. In 1988 he returned to appear at the Cork jazz Festival with Petters and Wild Bill Davison. A tour, the "Legends of American Dixieland", followed in May 1989 with the same line-up.

Other musicians he played and recorded with included Louis Armstrong, Wingy Manone, Gene Krupa, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Marsala, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, and Vic Dickenson.[2]

In 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.


Bebop? Avant-garde? Yeah, I heard of them. I also heard of these kids called the Bright Brothers – Wright Brothers? – who claim they can make you fly. It'll never catch on, none of it.

— Art Hodes (1981)[3]


  • The Jazz Record Story (Jazzology, 1943–46)
  • Tribute to the Greats (Delmark, 1976–78)
  • Pagin' Mr. Jelly (Candid, 1988)
  • Keepin' out of Mischief Now (Candid, 1988)
  • Art Hodes Blue Five and Six (Jazzology, 1987)
  • South Side Memories (Sackville)
  • Art Hodes and the Magnolia Jazz Band (Jazzology, 1993)
  • Blues in the Night (Sackville)
  • Together Again with Wild Bill Davison & John Petters (CMJ)
  • Sensation - with John Petters & Trevor Whiting (CMJ)
  • Coalition - with Wild Bill Davison & John Petters (Jazzology)
  • The Duets (Solo Arts, 2000)
  • I Remember Bessie (Delmark, 2013)


  1. ^ "Art Hodes, a Pianist Known for the Blues In the Old Style, 88". Pareles, Jon, The New York Times, March 6, 1993. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  2. ^ All about Jazz
  3. ^ quoted in Morton, Brian; Richard Cook (2010) [1992]. The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (10th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 525. ISBN 978-0-14-104831-4. 

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