Willie Cornish

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William Cornish (August 1, 1875 – January 12, 1942) was an early jazz musician – known for his being very active on the New Orleans scene playing, leading bands, and teaching music for decades.


He was a member of Buddy Bolden's pioneering New Orleans style band, playing valve trombone, from about the late 1890s until 1903 or 1905, with a short break when he fought in the Spanish–American War.[1][2] He was also an early member of the Eureka Brass Band.[3] When he had a stroke which paralysed his left side before the summer of 1931, he contrived a way of holding his trombone in place with a strap so that he could continue playing.


  1. ^ Charters, Samuel (2008). A Trumpet Around the Corner: The Story of New Orleans Jazz. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 87, 91. ISBN 9781604733181. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  2. ^ Kubik, Gerhard (2017). Jazz Transatlantic, Volume I: The African Undercurrent in Twentieth-Century Jazz Culture. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781626746596. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  3. ^ Knowles, Richard H. (1996). Fallen Heroes: A History of New Orleans Brass Bands. Jazzology Press. pp. 186–188 +. ISBN 9780963889034. Retrieved 5 August 2019. At some time prior to the summer of 1931, Willie Cornish suffered a stroke while playing a parade with the Eureka, collapsing at the corner of Rampart and Julia Streets. He was paralysed down his left side but devised a strap to hold the trombone in place so he could continue to play.