Utyosov, Leonid (Osipovich)

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Utyosov, Leonid (Osipovich)

Utyosov, Leonid (Osipovich), composer, singer, leader; b. Odessa, Ukraine, March 21, 1895; d. Moscow, Russia, March 10,1982. He played violin as a child; after the Revolution, he performed as an actor and entertainer in various cabarets, often incorporating different elements, including acrobatics. In 1920 Utyosov organized the first Soviet jazz group Tea Jazz, the name alluding to the song “Tea for Two” by Youmans, which was immensely popular in Russia at the time; subsequently he created various musical comedies such as ]azz on the Turning Point (1930). He also performed numerous popular Russian songs and revived old army and navy ballads.


L. Utyosov, Thanks, Heart (Moscow, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Lewis Porter