Max Kaminsky (musician)

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Max Kaminsky
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, Peanuts Hucko (Gottlieb 05581).jpg
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, and Peanuts Hucko at Eddie Condon's, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. Image: Gottlieb
Background information
Born(1908-09-07)September 7, 1908
OriginBrockton, Massachusetts
DiedSeptember 6, 1994(1994-09-06) (aged 85)

Max Kaminsky (September 7, 1908 – September 6, 1994) was a jazz trumpeter and bandleader of his own Max Kaminsky Orchestra.


Kaminsky was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. He started his career in Boston in 1924 and by 1928 worked in Chicago with George Wettling and Frank Teschemacher at the Cinderella Ballroom and in New York for a brief period in 1929 with Red Nichols. He was primarily known for Dixieland.[1] At one time he played for the Original Dixieland Jass Band.[2]

From about 1933-1938, he worked in commercially oriented dance bands, at the same time recording with Eddie Condon and Benny Carter's Chocolate Dandies (1933) and with Mezz Mezzrow (1933–34). He played with Tommy Dorsey (1936, 1938) and Artie Shaw (briefly in 1938), performed and recorded with Bud Freeman (1939–40) and worked again with Shaw (1941–43), who led a navy band with which Kaminsky toured the South Pacific.

From 1942 he took part in important concerts in New York City that were organized by Condon at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, and from the following year he played Dixieland with various groups. He also worked in the 1940s with Sidney Bechet, George Brunis, Art Hodes, Joe Marsala, Willie "The Lion" Smith, and Jack Teagarden.

He went on to work in television, and led Jackie Gleason's personal band for several seasons, toured Europe with Teagarden's and Earl Hines' All Stars (1957), and performed at the Metropole and Ryan's in New York (at intervals from the late 1960s to 1983, the Newport Jazz Festival and the New York World's Fair (1964–5).[3] In 1963 he published My Life in Jazz with V. E. Hughes. In 1975–76 he made recordings as a leader that well illustrate his style, which is full-toned, economical and swinging in the manner of King Oliver, Freddy Keppard and Louis Armstrong.

Kaminsky's legacy lives on at the Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University in New Orleans. His close relationship with that city and his love of Dixieland made Tulane a fitting repository.[4]

Kaminsky was Jewish.[5][6][7]


He died on September 6, 1994, one day before what would have been his 86th birthday.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Red Hot Jazz
  3. ^ Altissimo music
  4. ^
  5. ^ Buhle, Paul. From the Lower East Side to Hollywood: Jews in American Popular Culture. Verso; New York, New York: 2004. Pages 128-129. Accessed August 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Melnick, Jeffrey. A Right to Sing the Blues. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1999. Pages 190-191. Accessed August 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Gerber, Mike. "Jazz Jews." Five Leaves Publications; Nottingham, United Kingdom: 2009. Accessed: August 12, 2016.