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Mon, 04.19.1915

Violet Burnside, Musician born

Violet Burnside

*Violet "Vi" Burnside was born on this date in 1915. She was a white-American jazz saxophonist and bandleader.

Viola May Kendrick Burnside was from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Burnside worked for much of her career in all-girl bands. She worked in Bill Baldwin's group in the mid-1930s, joined the Dixie Rhythm Girls in 1937, then joined the Harlem Play-Girls in 1938. During World War II she joined the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and played USO concerts with them.

She continued with this ensemble until 1949, then formed her group, which toured as Vi Burnside's All-Girl Band and Vi Burnside's All-Stars. Her side women included Flo Dreyer and Pauline Braddy; the group toured mostly in the mid-Atlantic region. She played with Anna Mae Winburn in Harlem in 1953, and worked with her groups into the 1960s, in addition to acting as an official in a local DC musicians' union.

Viola Burnside died on November 19, 1964, in Washington, D.C.

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