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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Jay McShann


JAY MCSHANN (pianist, composer, bandleader, vocalist ) was born January 12, 1909 in Muskogee, Oklahoma and passed away December 7, 2006 in Kansas City Missouri. Also known as “Hootie”, McShann along with bandleader Count Basie had a major role in the swinging jazz scene of 1930’s Kansas City. McShann’s band showcased a young Charlie Parker and Ben Webster among others. At the height of the band’s performing and recording career, McShann was drafted for service in WWII. Post-war McShann led a number of small groups, which featured Ben Webster and Jimmy Witherspoon. Absent from the limelight for a number of years, McShann had a career resurgence in 1969, resuming touring and recording into the 1990s, most notably with Duke Robillard on Edmonton’s Stony Plain label.