Big Eye Louis Nelson Day

Big Eye Louis Nelson Day
“Big Eye” Louis Nelson Delisle (28 January 1885 – 20 August 1949) was an early twentieth-century Dixieland jazz clarinetist in New Orleans, Louisiana. He also played string bass, banjo, and accordion professionally on occasion.
Nelson Delisle was born into a family who were Creoles of Color. He spent most of his life in New Orleans, Louisiana.
He studied clarinet with the elder Lorenzo Tio.
By the age of 15, Delisle was working professionally in the music venues of Storyville, an area of brothels and clubs. He developed an early style of hot playing in the earliest days of jazz, and was an important influence on such later New Orleans jazz clarinetists as Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone.
In his early career “Big Eye” often played a C clarinet, as opposed to the more common B♭; the C was also used by other New Orleans clarinetists of the era, such as Alcide Nunez.
In 1917, Delisle joined the reconstituted Original Creole Orchestra that included Freddie Keppard and Bill Johnson. The band had disbanded in Boston in the spring of that year but was reassembled in New York City in the fall of the same year. Big Eye replaced clarinetist George Baquet, who had toured with the group in vaudeville. After a short while, Big Eye was replaced by Jimmie Noone. Big Eye was the regular clarinetist with the Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight but did not play on their 1929 recording sessions.

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