John Levy (musician)

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John Levy
Jimmy Jones and John Levy, 1947.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.
Background information
Born(1912-04-11)April 11, 1912
New Orleans, Louisiana
DiedJanuary 20, 2012(2012-01-20) (aged 99)

John Levy (April 11, 1912 – January 20, 2012) was an American jazz double-bassist and businessman.


Levy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1944, he left his family home in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to New York City where he played bass for such jazz musicians as Ben Webster, Erroll Garner, Milt Jackson, and Billie Holiday. In 1949, he became the bassist in the original George Shearing Quintet, where he also acted as Shearing's road manager. In 1951, Levy opened John Levy Enterprises, Inc., becoming the first African-American personal manager in the pop or jazz music field. By the 1960s, Levy's client roster included Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Williams, Shirley Horn, Soul singer Jimmie Raye, and Ramsey Lewis.

In 1997, Levy was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.

He died on January 20, 2012, aged 99, in Altadena, California.[1][2]


  1. ^ Chinen, Nate (2012). "John Levy, Bassist and Talent Manager, Dies at 99". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  2. ^ Heckman, Don (2012-01-24). "Manager guided jazz greats". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-15.

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