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Leon Prima

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Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Born: July 28, 1907 | Died: 1985    

Leon the older brother of Louis Prima was also a trumpeter & band leader. He played early in his life with Leon Roppolo, Ray Bauduc, Jack Teagarden, and Peck Kelley (1925-27). He co-led the Melody Masters with Sharkey Bonano in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but played less in the 1930s. He played in his brother's big band from 1940 to 1946 in New York City.

Leon ran several Bourbon Street night spots, including the Shim Sham Club (229 Bourbon) and the 500 Club (whose house band was led by Sam Butera - before Sam headed to Las Vegas to join Louis Prima's band in 1954). After moving back to New Orleans, he led his own ensemble, then retired in 1955 to take up a career in real estate.

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