Jabbo Smith

Hailed a one of the original trumpet kings, Cladys Smith was born in Pembroke, GA on December 24, 1908. He was sent to the Jenkins Orphanage by his mother Ida Smith when he was six year old. Jabbo began playing the cornet at age eight and began touring with the Jenkins Band at age ten. During his stay at the orphanage Jabbo constantly ran away and in 1925, at age 17 he left for good in order to play professionally with Harry Marsh in Philadelphia.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Jabbo was seen as a rival to Louis Armstrong. Jabbo played in New York for a while with such bands as the Charlie Johnson Band, Sidney Bechet and the James P. Johnson Orchestra where he was a part of the movie “Keep Shufflin'”.

Jabbo played in various cities around the states, as in Florida with Eagle Eye Shields Band as well as Chicago with Carol Dickerson, Erskine Tate, Charlie Elgar and Tiny Parham. In November of 1927 Jabbo recorded with Duke Ellington on a piece entitled “Black and Tan Fantasy”. Jabbo's recording debut with his own band the Rhythm Aces was in 1929 for the Brunswick label where he cut around 19 sides.

After playing with Claude Hopkins for two years in Milwaukee, Jabbo finally settled there in the 1940s. After this move Jabbo wasn't heard from as much and slowly faded out of the music business. He did attempt a brief comeback in the ‘60’s and then re-surfaced and played in “One Mo' Time” in the 1970s

Read more

Tags

Jazz That Scratches, Swings and Pops
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Ace of Rhythm

Pearl Jazz Recording Label
1998

buy

Jabbo!

Memories
1982

buy

Similar

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.