Leon Abbey

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Leon Abbey in 1944 advertisement

Leon Abbey (May 7, 1900 – September 1975)[1] was an American jazz violinist and bandleader.

In the 1920s his eleven-piece band, known successively as the Charleston Bearcats, the Savoy Bearcats, and Leon Abbey's Band, was considered one of the best in jazz.[2]

Abbey took successors to this band, also known as Leon Abbey's Band, on extended tours of South America, Europe, and India in the 1920s and 1930s.[3][4] In 1939 he returned from India to New York City, where he led a trio in the 1940s. He moved to Chicago late in the decade, and worked there with his trio into the 1950s. Abbey frequently worked with sidemen such as Emile Christian, Crickett Smith, Peter DuConge, Fletcher Allen, and Bill Coleman.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lotz, Rainer E. (2002). "Abbey, Leon (Alexander)". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 2–3. ISBN 1561592846. 
  2. ^ Chadbourne, Eugene. "Leon Abbey". allmusic.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Abbey Got Cash And Praise From European Newspapers". The Afro-American. September 6, 1930. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Shope, Bradley (2016). American Popular Music in Britain's Raj. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. pp. 67–68. ISBN 9781580465489.