Percy Humphrey Biography

Percy Gaston Humphrey, 13 January 1905, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 22 July 1995, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Humphrey enjoyed a long career as a trumpeter and band leader in the pre-war dixieland dance band scene. Having played in or around New Orleans with the Louisiana Jazz Hounds, Sweet Emma Barret, the Eureka Brass Band, George Lewis And The Crescent City Joy Makers, he founded his own band in 1925. In the 30s Humphrey toured with Bessie Smith, but turned down the chance of national fame to remain with his family in New Orleans. He remained active on the local scene there, and in 1961 he founded the Preservation Hall. He continued to appear with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band regularly, until his elder brother, Willie Humphrey, died in 1994. His last performance came as the closing act at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival jazz tent, an honour he had been afforded over several years for his contribution to the local music community. He was still an active musician when he died of heart failure in 1995, aged 90.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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