All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Leon Roppolo

Leon Roppolo Leon Roppolo

Leon Roppolo was a prominent early jazz clarinetist, best known for his playing with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings.The New Orleans Rhythm Kings were one of the hottest jazz bands of the early 1920s, and a strong influence on many later musicians, including Bix Beiderbecke, Muggsy Spanier, Mezz Mezzrow, and Benny Goodman. Best known for their 1923 integrated recording session with Jelly Roll Morton, the NORK’s smooth, swinging style signaled a departure from the raucous novelty sound of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and its imitators. Another hallmark of the band was its emphasis on solo performances, while traditional New Orleans jazz was still heavily dependent on ensemble playing. The solos of Leon Roppolo on clarinet and George Brunies on trombone are still considered classic, and have often been copied on other bands’ recordings.

Leon Joseph Roppolo ( nicknamed “Rap”) was born in Lutcher, Louisiana, upriver from New Orleans. His family moved to the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans about 1912. Young Leon's first instrument was the violin. He was a fan of the marching bands he heard in the streets of New Orleans, and wanted to play clarinet. An older relative with the same name played that instrument in Papa Jack Laine’s Band. George Vital Laine aka Papa Jack, was one of the most important band leaders in New Orleans in the years from the Spanish-American War to World War I.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Album New Orleans Rythm Kings 1922-1925 by Leon Roppolo

New Orleans Rythm...

Challenge Records
2006

buy

Similar

Lester Young Lester Young
saxophone
Benny Carter Benny Carter
saxophone, alto
George Lewis George Lewis
trombone
Bud Freeman Bud Freeman
saxophone, tenor
John Clayton John Clayton
bass, acoustic
Mezz Mezzrow Mezz Mezzrow
clarinet
Jimmie Noone Jimmie Noone
clarinet

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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