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Canadian Heritage

Teddy Wilson


TEDDY WILSON (pianist, composer, bandleader, educator) was born November 24, 1912 in Austin, Texas and passed away July 31, 1986. Wilson, known for his sophisticated and effortless style is considered one of the most influential swing era musicians. He performed with Benny Carter, Louis Armstrong, and in 1935 joined Benny Goodman’s trio (later a quartet) along with Gene Krupa, becoming the first African American prominently featured in an all-white jazz group. As accompanist to singers Lena Horne and Helen Ward, he produced some 50 hits but perhaps his celebrated partnership was with Billie Holiday recording a series of successful albums. Aside from numerous performing and recording credits as sideman, leader and soloist, he taught for seven years at Juilliard.