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Valaida Snow

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Valaida Snow (born June 2, 1905, Chattanooga, Tennessee; died May 30, 1956, New York City) was an African American jazz musician and entertainer. Raised in Cleveland City, Tennessee by a family devoted to music, she learned to play cello, bass, banjo, violin, mandolin, harp, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, and saxophone at professional levels by the time she was 15. She also sang and danced.

After focusing on the trumpet, Valaida quickly became so famous that she was named “Little Louis” after Louis Armstrong. She played concerts throughout the USA, Europe and China.

Her most successful period was in the 1930’s, when she became the toast of London and Paris. Around this time she recorded her hit song, “High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm.” She performed in the Ethel Waters show, Rhapsody In Black, in New York. In the mid-30’s she made films with her husband Ananais Berry of the Berry Brothers dancing troupe. After playing at New York’s Apollo theater she revisited Europe and the Far East for more shows and films.

Valaida Snow died of cerebral hemorrhage on May 30, 1956 in New York City.

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