John Levy Day
John Levy (April 11, 1912 – January 20, 2012) was an African-American jazz double-bassist and businessman.
Levy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1944, he left his family home in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to New York City, New York, where he played bass for such renowned jazz musicians as Ben Webster, Erroll Garner, Milt Jackson, and Billie Holiday. In 1949, he became the bassist in the original George Shearing Quintet, where he also acted as Shearing’s road manager. In 1951, Levy opened John Levy Enterprises, Inc., becoming the first African-American personal manager in the pop or jazz music field. By the 1960s, Levy’s client roster included Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Williams, Shirley Horn, Soul singer Jimmie Raye, and Ramsey Lewis.
In 1997, Levy was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. He died, aged 99, in Altadena, California.
Leave a Comment