Note(s)Albany Leon “Barney” Bigard (1906-1980) was an American clarinetist (and occasional tenor saxophonist) best known for being a long time member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and for being an original member of Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars. Born in New Orleans, Bigard began his musical career as a clarinetist, but was encouraged to switch to tenor sax. He landed in King Oliver’s band’s sax section where he was often called upon to play clarinet eventually making it his main instrument. In 1927/28 Bigard joined Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and except for a brief absence in the summer of 1935 was an Ellingtonian until 1942. His next important gig was as an original member of Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars. During his long tenure with the group (1947-52, 1953-5, 1960-61) he toured all over the world and made many classic recordings with the group. In 1962 Bigard went into semi-retirement playing occasional gigs and appearing in jazz festivals.
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Organization NameRutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University. Institute of Jazz Studies
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