Artist Info

Wilbur De Paris

Wilbur DeParis, an adequate soloist, was an excellent ensemble player and an important bandleader who helped keep New Orleans jazz alive in the 1950s. He started out on alto horn and in 1922 played C-melody sax while working with A.J. Piron before switching permanently to trombone. In 1925, DeParis led a band in Philadelphia and then had stints in the orchestras of Leroy Smith (1928), Dave Nelson, Noble Sissle, Edgar Hayes, Teddy Hill (1936-1937), the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and Louis Armstrong (1937-1940). Not as well-known as his brother, the talented trumpet soloist Sidney DeParis, Wilbur was with Roy Eldridge's big band and Duke Ellington (1945-1947) and recorded with Sidney Bechet during 1949-1950. However, it was in 1951 when he put together a band to play at Ryan's that included his brother and clarinetist Omer Simeon that he found his niche. Wilbur DeParis' New New Orleans Jazz Band did not just play Dixieland standards but marches, pop tunes, and hymns, all turned into swinging and spirited jazz. Throughout the 1950s, the group recorded consistently exciting sets for Atlantic (all of which are unfortunately long out of print) and they were the resident band at Ryan's during 1951-1962, touring Africa in 1957. DeParis continued leading bands up until his death, but his last recordings were in 1961.
Scott Yanow, Rovi