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Wed, 10.05.1881

Tim Brymn, a 20th century jazz band leader

Tim Brymn

Tim Brymn was born on this date in 1881. He was a Black musical conductor, arranger, and composer.

James "Tim" Brymn was from Kinston, N.C., and educated at the Christian Institute and Shaw University. He also attended the National Conservatory of Music. Brymn moved to New York around the turn of the 20th century and soon began composing. In 1905 he wrote five songs that were probably used in what came to be known as the Smart Set shows. They included "Morning, Noon, and Night," "O-San," "Powhatana," "Travel On," and "Darktown Grenadiers."

Brymn worked with Sissle & Blake and later served as a musical director for the Clef Club and also led orchestras at Ziegfeld's Roof Garden and Reisenweber's Jardin de Dance.  During WWI, Brymn's 70 piece orchestra, The Black Devils, were very popular. They were the musical unit for the Army’s 350th Artillery, AEF, and Willie "The Lion" Smith also served in the same unit. Brymn's band was described at the time as "a military symphony engaged in a battle of jazz."

He joined ASCAP in 1933. Tim Brymn died in New York City on October 3, 1946.

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