|Tags:||swing banjo old jazz|
Elmer Chester Snowden, 9 October 1900, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, d. 14 May 1973, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Snowden was playing banjo professionally in the Washington, DC area while still in his teens and in 1919 teamed up with Duke Ellington in a trio. Some time later, in New York, Snowden needed a piano player and sent for Ellington. Soon thereafter the rest of the band, the Washingtonians, parted company with Snowden, forming the nucleus of the orchestra Ellington was to lead with such success. Snowden formed a new band, and also began acting as a band contractor and musicians agent. Through the late 20s and early 30s he was a popular band leader in the New York area, employing many fine jazzmen. After a brief hiatus owing to union problems he resumed band leading, continuing to do so into the early 60s when he also taught and briefly enjoyed some success on the jazz festival circuit. During this period he played and sometimes recorded with Turk...