Beryl Booker

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Beryl Booker
Beryl Booker.jpg
Background information
Born June 7, 1922 (1922-06-07)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died September 30, 1978(1978-09-30) (aged 56)
Genres Swing
Post bop
Cool jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Slam Stewart

Beryl Booker (June 7, 1922 – September 30, 1978) was an American swing pianist of the 1950s.

Born in Philadelphia, she played with Slam Stewart's trio in 1946, and played off and on with him until 1951. She also played accompaniment for Dinah Washington. In 1951 she became part of the newly formed Austin Powell Quintet (consisting of former Cats and the Fiddle members Doris Knighton, Johnny Davis and Stanley Gaines, and also Dottie Smith) which recorded one Decca single entitled "All This Can't Be True" before disbanding.[1] In early 1952, Booker led a quintet which played Birdland, featuring Don Elliot, Chuck Wayne, Clyde Lombardi and Connie Kay. Recordings with Miles Davis sitting in on the group have been preserved.[2] In 1953, she formed her own trio with Bonnie Wetzel and Elaine Leighton. This group toured Europe in 1954 as part of a show entitled "Jazz Club USA", which featured Billie Holiday.[2] After another stint with Dinah Washington in 1959, she slipped into obscurity. In the 1970s she continued to play and record with small groups.[3]


  • Girl Met a Piano (EmArcy, 1952)
  • Beryl Booker Trio (Discovery, 1954)
  • Don Byas with Beryl Booker (Discovery, 1954)
  • The Beryl Booker Trio (Cadence, 1954)


  1. ^ Warner, Jay. American Singing Groups: A History From 1940 To Today. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006; ISBN 0634099787, 9780634099, p. 17
  2. ^ a b Schenker, Anatol. Chronological Classics: 1946-1952. Liner Notes
  3. ^ Dahl, Linda. Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen. London 1984; ISBN 0-7043-2477-6, p. 76.

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