Update Willie "The Lion" Smith Follow

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: November 25, 1897 | Died: April, 1973

With his derby and cigar, along with his command of counterpoint and swing, Willie “The Lion” Smith was one of the jazz world's outsized characters. Bravery during World War I earned him his nickname; friendship and mutual admiration led to Duke Ellington's “Portrait of The Lion” and Smith's own “Portrait of Duke.”

William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff was born in Goshen, N.Y., on Nov. 25, 1897. Growing up in Newark, he began playing at age 6, drawn to the piano by his mother's playing in church. His father's Jewish ancestry later led to work as a cantor, he claimed, during the '40s. In 1916, Willie enlisted in the Army where he became the drum major for his unit. During World War I, he spent over a month on the front lines, where he earned his name “The Lion” for his bravery....
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Featured recording “Memoirs of Willie

Memoirs of Willie "The Lion" Smith

  • BUY

    Stride Piano Duets—Live in Toronto, 1966

    Delmark Records
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    Stride Piano Duets. Live In Toronto 1966

    Delmark Records
  • BUY

    Stride Piano Duets Live In Toronto 1966

    Enja Records
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    Music On My Mind

    Enja Records
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    Echoes Of Spring

    Enja Records
  • BUY

    Piano Solos

    Enja Records
  • BUY

    Willie "The Lion" Smith Volume 1

    Enja Records
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Rank: 675
Views: 15,518
Fans: 4
Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

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