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,[3] together with Garvin Bushell, Coleman Hawkins, Everett Robbins, Bubber Miley and Herb Flemming.[4]

As bandleader[edit]

As a bandleader, he led the following lineups:[5]


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 was so out of fashion, that 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.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography by Scott Yanow". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  2. ^ Carr, Ian; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley (1995). Jazz: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. pp. 183. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.
  3. ^ Giles Oakley (1997). The Devil's Music. Da Capo Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-306-80743-5.
  4. ^ "Black Recording Artists, 1877-1926: An Annotated Discography". McFarland. December 12, 2012. p. 404 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Johnny Dunn". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Johnny Dunn and his Jazz Band". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Johnny Dunn and his Original Jazz Band". Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Edith Wilson and Johnny Dunn's Jazz Hounds". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Johnny Dunn and his Band". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Tricky Sam Nanton @ All About Jazz". Retrieved 25 July 2019.