Quealey, Chelsea , jazz trumpeter; b. Hartford, Conn., 1905; d. Las Vegas, May 6, 1950. Quealey started on sax, then switched to trumpet. He first worked with the Jan Garber Orch. (c. 1925), then with The California Ramblers (1926–27). Quealey sailed to England in December 1927 to join Fred Elizalde, where he recorded and performed, influencing the burgeoning English jazz scene; however, illness forced his sudden return to the U.S. in June 1929. On his return, he worked in N.Y. through 1930 in show bands. He rejoined The California Ramblers in 1931, but Quealey was again sidetracked by illness. After his recovery, he played briefly with Paul Whiteman, and then joined Ben Pollack in Chicago and moved to Calif, with Pollack. He was back in N.Y. by 1934, where he recorded with Mezz Mezzrow and worked with various groups, including Isham Jones’ Juniors (early 1935–36), Joe Marsala (summer-autumn 1936), Frankie Trumbauer (January 1937), and the Bob Zurke Big Band (September 1939-early 1940). Quealey left Zurke to join Jack Crawford’s Band in Tex. briefly in early 1940 and then returned to N.Y. and played regularly at Nick’s with Georg Brunis, Brad Gowans, Miff Mole, and other jazz revivalists. He moved back to Calif, (c. 1946), worked for a while at various day jobs, and then moved on to Las Vegas. In 1950, he died of heart trouble.
—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter