Red Saunders (musician)

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Theodore Dudley "Red" Saunders (March 2, 1912, Memphis, Tennessee – March 5, 1981, Chicago) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He also played vibraphone and timpani.

Early in his career, Saunders played in Milwaukee and Chicago, playing with Stomp King. For a time, he worked with Tiny Parham at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. In 1937, the Club DeLisa gave Saunders control of the house band, where he remained (with one hiatus between 1945 and 1947) until the club closed in 1958. Among his sidemen were Leon Washington, Porter Kilbert, Earl Washington, Sonny Cohn, Ike Perkins, Riley Hampton, singer Joe Williams and Mac Easton. Among the arrangers he employed were Johnny Pate[1] and Sun Ra.

Despite his regular gig and disinclination to go on the road, Saunders also played with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Woody Herman, and recorded with Big Joe Turner. He continued to lead a band at the Regal Theater in Chicago into the 1960s, and played with Little Brother Montgomery and Art Hodes at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in the 1970s.


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