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Wed, 04.27.1927

Connie Kay, Jazz Drummer born

Connie Kay

*Connie Kay was born on this date in 1927. He was a Black jazz drummer.

Self-taught on the drums, Kay played in the mid-'40s with Sir Charles Thompson, Miles Davis, and Cat Anderson. He was in Lester Young's quintet off and on during 1949-55 when he worked with Beryl Booker, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, and others. In February 1955, he joined the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ), traveling the world with the group up until it called it disbanded in 1974.

During that era, he was a guest on small-group sets with Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Heath, and Paul Desmond with Jim Hall. During 1975-81 Kay worked with Tommy Flanagan, Soprano Summit, and Benny Goodman and was the house drummer at Eddie Condon's club.  Because for just two months shy of 40 years (including seven years in which the group was on "vacation"), Connie Kay was the drummer/percussionist with MJQ.  His subtle constant contributions were an invaluable asset to everyone he came in contact with. Connie Kay died Nov 30, 1994, in New York, NY.

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All That Jazz The Illustrated Story of Jazz Music
General Editor: Ronald Atkins
Copyright 1996, Carlton Books Limited
ISBN 0-76519-953-X

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