Wilbur de Paris
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|Wilbur De Paris|
Claude Jones and Wilbur De Paris (left) at the Aquarium in New York in 1946
January 11, 1900|
Crawfordsville, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||January 3, 1973(aged 72)|
|Occupation(s)||Trombonist, band leader|
|Associated acts||Sidney De Paris, Omer Simeon, Zutty Singleton|
De Paris was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana. His father, Sidney G. Paris, played trombone, banjo, and guitar. By the autumn of 1906, when he was five, Wilbur De Paris had started playing alto saxophone, and a year later he was working for his father in one of his plantation shows. These shows were performed by small, traveling groups of actors, dancers, musicians, and comedians who worked for Theatre Owners and Bookers Association in the South. In small tents and theaters they performed comedy, drama, and musicals.
Although De Paris had been playing alto saxophone, he played C melody saxophone in 1922 as a member of a band led by A.J. Piron. Trombone was his primary instrument when worked for Dave Nelson, Noble Sissle, Edgar Hayes, Teddy Hill (1936–1937), and Louis Armstrong (1937–1940).
In the late 1940s, with his brother, Sidney De Paris, he started a band called New New Orleans Jazz, featuring legendary jazzmen including Omer Simeon, who played clarient with the Jelly Roll Morton band. Other band members included drummers Zutty Singleton & Freddie Moore. The banjo chair was filled first by Eddie Gibbs and later by Lee Blair also of Morton fame. Don Kirkpatrick was the band's most consistent piano player. This band became an institution in New York City during the 1950s and toured the world in the late 1950s. The band recorded extensively.