Cuba Austin

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Cuba Austin (1906–1961) was an American jazz drummer.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, United States,[1] In 1926, Austin became a member of William McKinney's group, McKinney's Cotton Pickers.[1] Austin joined the group after its formation, taking over from McKinney himself on drums.[1] The group recorded frequently, both under the names Cotton Pickers and Chocolate Dandies.[2]

In 1931, the Cotton Pickers split into two ensembles, with Austin heading one of them, which took the name, The Original Cotton Pickers.[1] When he disbanded this group in 1934, he moved to Baltimore and worked on his own,[1] as well as in an orchestra with Rivers Chambers.[2]

Austin was an influential figure in early jazz; Gene Krupa called Austin one of his major influences.[2] Austin was one of the first drummers to use the newly invented hi hat in hot and swing jazz.[2]

Austin's precise dates of birth and death are unknown.


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cuba Austin | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 14, 2021.