Morton, Jelly Roll, -1941

Alternative names
Birth 1885-10-20
Death 1941-07-10

Biographical notes:

Jelly Roll Morton, composer. George C. Wolfe, librettist. Susan Birkenhead, lyricist. Additional music and musical adaptation by Luther Henderson.

From the description of Jelly's last jam: typescript, 1992. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122533067

Jelly Roll Morton is believed to have been born on September 20, 1885, in Gulfport, Mississippi. His family moved to New Orleans, where Morton had both formal training in music and exposure to the leading jazz performers of the day. By 1904, he was working as a jazz pianist, comedian, and vaudevillian. Starting in 1923, Morton made Chicago his base of operations. During that time he made piano rolls (for Wurlitzer and Imperial) and a number of disc recordings. In the years 1926-1927, he recorded with his seven- or eight-man band, the Red Hot Peppers. When he moved to New York in 1928, he continued recording, and his music reached an ever wider audience. During the 1930's Morton's popularity waned. Alan Lomax recorded Morton in performance at the Library of Congress in 1938. These recordings sparked a revival of interest in Morton and his music. He continued to compose and record until his death in Los Angeles in July 1941.

From the description of Jelly Roll Morton collection, 1905-1941 (bulk 1905-1941). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71129975


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  • Names, Personal--Songs and music
  • String quartets, Arranged--Scores and parts
  • Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles


  • Performer
  • Composers


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