Carver, Wayman (Alexander)

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Carver, Wayman (Alexander)

early jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist; b. Portsmouth, Va., Dec. 25, 1905; d. Atlanta, Ga., May 6, 1967. Carver was one of the first flutists in jazz, as featured on Chick Webb recordings and in a film with Cab Calloway. His father was a clarinetist; his Uncle D. D. Copeland, a flutist, led a municipal band. Wayman played flute from an early age. He toured for several years with J. Neal Montgomery’s Collegiate Ramblers, then formed his own band. Carver moved to N.Y., played with Elmer Snowden in 1931-32, and then led own band before joining Benny Carter in 1933. He was with Chick Webb from 1934 and remained when Ella Fitzgerald became leader. He left in February 1940, then returned to Ella in 1941. He left full-time music, became active as a teacher and arranger, and was later appointed Associate Professor of Music at Clark Coll., Atlanta, a post he held until his death.

—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter