Johnny Dunn

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Johnny Dunn (February 19, 1897 – August 20, 1937) was an American traditional jazz trumpeter and vaudeville performer, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee.[1] He is probably best known for his work during the 1920s with musicians such as Perry Bradford or Noble Sissle.[2] He has been compared in sound and style to both King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. In 1922, he recorded as a member of Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds, together with Garvin Bushell, Coleman Hawkins, Everett Robbins, Bubber Miley and Herb Flemming.[3]

As bandleader[edit]

As a bandleader, he led the following lineups:[4]


In 1928, Dunn recorded four tracks with Jelly Roll Morton, and two more with both James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Although he is either the bandleader or is featured on many recordings from about 1923 on, he never made any more recordings after 1928, and relocated permanently to Europe.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Dunn died of tuberculosis aged 40 in Paris, France in August 1937, but with his playing style out of fashion he was largely forgotten by that time.[1]


In 1921, Dunn's trumpet playing style, with a plunger, inspired Tricky Sam Nanton to use the plunger with the trombone. This became known as the wah-wah effect.[10]