Jack Lesberg

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Jack Lesberg
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, and Peanuts Hucko, Eddie Condon's, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. Image: Gottlieb
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, and Peanuts Hucko, Eddie Condon's, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. Image: Gottlieb
Background information
Born(1920-02-14)February 14, 1920
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedSeptember 17, 2005(2005-09-17) (aged 85)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresSwing, Big band
InstrumentsDouble bass

Jack Lesberg (February 14, 1920 – September 17, 2005) was a jazz double-bassist.

Lesberg performed with many famous jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Jack Teagarden, Sarah Vaughan and Benny Goodman, with whom he went on several international tours. He also performed in the New York City Symphony under Leonard Bernstein in the 1940s.[1]

A native of Boston, Lesberg had the misfortune of playing in that city's Cocoanut Grove on the night in 1942 when 492 people lost their lives in a fire. His escape was memorialized by fellow bassist Charles Mingus in an unpublished section of Mingus's autobiography Beneath the Underdog; this passage was read by rapper Chuck D. on the Mingus tribute album Weird Nightmare.

Lesberg continued to tour in the 1980s and was interviewed for KCEA radio in 1984 following a performance in Menlo Park, California. During the taped interview Jack spoke of the many bands and performers he worked with and expressed his feelings that he felt blessed to be a musician.

He died of Alzheimer's in Englewood at the age of 85.[2]


As co-leader
  • We've Got Rhythm/Live at Hanratty's (Chaz Jazz, 1981)
  • No Amps Allowed (Chiaroscuro)
As sideman
  • Dixieland Jazz (Waldorf, 1957)
  • Tribute to Louis Armstrong (Jugoton, 1985)
  • Tribute to Louis Armstrong Vol. 2 (Jugoton, 1989)
  • The Music of Lil Hardin Armstrong (Chiaroscuro, 1988)

With George Barnes

With Ruth Brown

With Urbie Green

With Coleman Hawkins

With Johnny Hodges

With the Henri René Orchestra

With Eddie Condon

With Ralph Sutton & Ruby Braff

External links[edit]


  • Kernfeld, Barry (2001). "Jack Lesberg". In Root, Deane L. (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Oxford University Press.
  • Jack Lesberg at Discogs