|Birth name||Harold West|
August 12, 1915|
Wolford, North Dakota, United States
|Died||May 4, 1951
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
|Associated acts||Hot Lips Page
Big Joe Turner
West learned to play piano and cello as a child before switching to drums. In the 1930s he played in Chicago with Tiny Parham, Erskine Tate, and Roy Eldridge (1937–38). Late in the 1930s he filled in for Chick Webb when Webb was unable to lead his own orchestra. Early in the 1940s he played with Hot Lips Page, and played on the early bebop scene at Minton's Playhouse in New York City with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Tiny Grimes, and Don Byas. He played with Oscar Pettiford in 1944 and stood in for Jo Jones occasionally in Count Basie's orchestra.
He was married to Florence West (deceased); they had one daughter Alita West-Kelly born December 6, 1949 (deceased 2011).
He has three grandchildren, Givell Kelly-Moses, Charisse Kelly-Smith and Sean Kelly, and seven great-grandchildren, Shamere Moses, DeShaun Moses, Amari Smith, Amir Smith, Amaj Smith, Lasiyah Kelly, and Jeremiah Kelly.
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