Metcalf, Louis (Jr.)

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Metcalf, Louis (Jr.)

Metcalf, Louis (Jr.), jazz trumpeter, singer; b. Webster Groves, Mo., Feb. 28, 1905; d. N.Y., Oct. 27, 1981. Metcalf played drums, then switched to cornet. He played in the local Knights of Phythias Brass Band, and then spent several years on and off with Charlie Creath. In the summer of 1923 he traveled to N.Y., playing in Jimmie Cooper’s revue. During the following year spent several months with Willie “The Lion” Smith at the Rhythm Club. He worked with various N.Y-based bands until joining Duke Ellington during late 1926–27. During 1928, he worked with Jelly Roll Morton in N.Y., and later that year joined the Luis Russell Orch. After working with other bands and in the Connie’s Inn Revue Orch., he spent three years in Canada during the early 1930s, mainly leading his own band. He returned to N.Y. and joined Fletcher Henderson in March 1935. After brief stints in St. Louis and Chicago, he was back in N.Y. From 1936 onwards, he led his own band (except for a brief spell with Noble Sissle in Cleveland). He also ran his own Heatwave Club in N.Y. during the late 1930s and early 1940s. He left N.Y. in 1947, moved to Canada, and organized and directed his own international band there until 1950. After a brief spell away from the music scene, he returned to N.Y. in 1951 and began leading his own small groups through the 1960s. He recovered from serious illness during 1969 and once again formed own small band, leading it until his death in 1981.


Louis Metcalf at the Ali Baba (1966). duke ellington:Early Ellington: The Complete Brunswick Recordings (1926–31) (c. 1931); Jungle Nights in Harlem (1927); Okeh Ellington (1927); Rockin’ in Rhythm [Jazz Hour] (1927); Jubilee Stomp (1928); Beyond Category (1994).

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