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Connie Kay

Primary Instrument: Drums

Born: April 27, 1927 | Died: November 30, 1994    

Connie Kay

Connie Kay will forever be remembered as the legendary drummer/percussionist for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Self-taught on the drums, Kay played in the mid-'40s with Sir Charles Thompson, Miles Davis, and Cat Anderson. He was in Lester Young's quintet off and on during 1949-55, a time in which he also worked with Beryl Booker, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and others. In February 1955, he joined the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ), traveling the world with the band up until it called it “quits” in 1974.

During that era he also was a guest on small-group sets with Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Heath and Paul Desmond with Jim Hall. During 1975-81 Kay worked with Tommy Flanagan, Soprano Summit, Benny Goodman and was the house drummer at Eddie Condon's club....
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