Tuts Washington

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Tuts Washington
Birth nameIsidore Washington
Born(1907-01-24)January 24, 1907
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedAugust 5, 1984(1984-08-05) (aged 77)
New Orleans
GenresBlues, jazz, boogie-woogie
Years active1920s–1984
LabelsImperial, Rounder
Associated actsSmiley Lewis, Tab Smith

Isidore "Tuts" Washington (January 24, 1907 – August 5, 1984)[1][2] was an American blues pianist from New Orleans, Louisiana.

He taught himself to play the piano at age 10 and studied with the New Orleans jazz pianist Joseph Louis "Red" Cayou.[3] In the 1920s and 1930s, he was a leading player for dance bands and Dixieland bands in New Orleans. His style blended elements of ragtime, jazz, blues, and boogie-woogie.[1]

After World War II, Washington joined Smiley Lewis in a trio with drummer Herman Seals.[3] They released several popular songs for Imperial, including "Tee-Nah-Nah", "The Bells Are Ringing", and "Dirty People". Washington moved to St. Louis to play with Tab Smith.[1] He returned to New Orleans in the 1960s, performing in restaurants in the French Quarter in clubs such as Tipitina's and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. For years he had a regular engagement playing piano at a bar in the Pontchartrain Hotel. He avoided recording for most of his career,[3] but he released the solo piano album New Orleans Piano Professor for Rounder in 1983.[1] A live recording by Washington, Live at Tipitina's '78, was released by Night Train International Records in 1998.

Washington died on August 5, 1984, after having a heart attack while performing at the World's Fair in New Orleans.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ankeny, Jason. "Tuts Washington". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ du Noyer, Paul, ed. (August 22, 2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Flame Tree. p. 181. ISBN 978-1904041702.
  3. ^ a b c "Isidore Tuts Washington". Thebluestrail.com. Retrieved November 19, 2011.