Roy Eldridge Birthday Broadcast

Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:59pm

Join WKCR on Sunday, January 30th as we celebrate the life and music of this jazz trumpeter who, according to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, put "more soul in one note that a lot of people could get into the whole song."

Roy Eldridge, aka "Little Jazz," was born in 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent the early years of his career touring with a number of dance bands. By the 1930s, Eldridge was living in New York, performing with the likes of Cecil Scott, Elmer Snowden, Teddy Hill, Fletcher Henderson and Billie Holiday. After leading his own band from 1936-1941, Eldridge played with the giants of swing, including Gene Krupa, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, and Earl Hines, before participating in the Jazz at the Philharmonic and Jazz Artist’s Guild recordings in the 50s and 60s.

Eldridge died in 1989, but not before leaving a remarkable legacy in the world of Jazz music. Little Jazz brought a whole lot of life to any performance he was a part of: his bold rhythmic and sonic style is adored by many. His legendary tritone substitutions and dazzling solos marked his presence in any group. He is credited with bridging the gap between the styles of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. And finally, his work was integral in the foundational stages of the Swing Era.

Tune in on the 30th for 24 hours of BIG sounds courtesy of Little Jazz himself, Roy Eldridge.