Content Type

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

Red Norvo


RED NORVO (vibraphonist, composer, bandleader) was born Kenneth Norville on March 31, 1908 in Beardstown, Illinois and passed away April 7, 1999 in Santa Monica, California. Norvo was an early proponent of the vibraphone as a jazz instrument. He performed with the bands of Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman as well as recording with Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra and Norvo’s wife singer Mildred Bailey – they were known as “Mr. and Mrs. Swing”. In 1949 he formed a trio with Tal Farlow on guitar and Charles Mingus, bass which lasted until 1951. He continued to record and perform until his retirement in the mid 1980s.