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George Lewis


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There are 2 different jazz musicians named George Lewis’s listed here, bios of both follow:

1. A New Orleans based traditional jazz clarinetist (born 1900 - died 1968), a contemporary of Bunk Johnson and Kid Ory, the streaming audio on is all by George Lewis 1.

2. A modern computer-interfacing trombonist and composer born 1952 in Chicago who has played with numerous current artists including on Laurie Anderson’s album Big Science.


1. George Lewis (13 July 1900 – 31 December 1968) was an American jazz clarinetist whoachieved his greatest fame and influence in his later decades of life when the ragtime era and composers were rediscovered by record labels, critics, venue operators and fans.

George Lewis’ actual legal name was George Louis Francois Zenon. He was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Lewis was playing clarinet professionally by 1917. He played with Buddie Petit, Chris Kelly regularly, and sometimes with Kid Ory and many other band leaders, seldom traveling far from the greater New Orleans area.

During the Great Depression he took a day job as a stevedore, continuing to take such music jobs after hours as he could find.

In 1942 some jazz fans and writers came to New Orleans to record the legendary older trumpeter Bunk Johnson, and Bunk picked Lewis for the recording session. Lewis, almost totally unknown outside of New Orleans, impressed many listeners, and he made his first recordings under his own name for American Music Records.


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  • Sokratia59

    3 Nov 2014 Reply
  • JJMontreux

    Disambiguation, please.

    5 Dec 2009 Reply
  • jimbo-lrfc

    George Lewis the famous clarinetist truly fantastic. I beleive his daughter gave his clarinet to Geordie Boy Brian Carrick please confirm

    30 Jan 2009 Reply
  • LondonLouis

    Re the original George Lewis: it would be nice if Just a Closer Walk and Down by the Riverside could be added as full tracks. I remember them from my Trad Jazz days and I suspect it was Lewis' 1940s recordings which resurrected them.

    12 Dec 2008 Reply
  • nola-hepcat

    Dr. Michael White is organizing a tribute to New Orleans jazz great George Lewis at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, April 26, N.O. Jazz Fest

    23 Apr 2008 Reply
  • nola-hepcat

    Amazon seems to use George E. Lewis for the trombone player

    11 Apr 2008 Reply
  • nola-hepcat

    I can ignore the picture but the related artist list is really annoying. How is it that the original legendary George Lewis, clarinet player from New Orleans, is taking the second spot?

    9 Apr 2008 Reply
  • OhYesByAllMeans

    I know another George Lewis.

    6 Feb 2008 Reply
  • djjazzpants

    The fact that the picture agrees with the related groups and similar artists in describing the AACM trombonist George Lewis who is still alive and creating music, while the Listen Now section, top albums (for the most part) and the biography describe the New Orleans clarinetist who passed nearly 40 years ago....yes i think there needs to be some distinction made...anyone agree?

    17 Jul 2007 Reply
  • kungpow

    There are or were 2 George Lewises that played Jazz. There needs to be a disambiguation.

    29 Sep 2006 Reply

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