Luis Russell - piano, bandleader (1902 - 1963)
In his native homeland of Panama, Luis was a multi-instrumentalist. He immigrated to New Orleans, LA, in 1919, where, as a pianist, he often found work in the local saloons and brothels. In the early 1920s, he led some small groups of his own, as well as playing with Albert Nicholas and others. In 1925, he went up to Chicago and played in the King Oliver band. In 1927, he started his own band which was resident in New York City, while often touring.
It was an interesting big band. At one time or another, it had Louis Armstrong on trumpet; 'Big' Sid Catlett on drums; Henry 'Red' Allen on trumpet and J.C