Jelly Roll Morton

(1890 - 1941)

A pioneering jazz musician who began his career playing ragtime in New Orleans bordellos, the pianist Jelly Roll Morton spent many years touring with his band, the Red Hot Peppers. “Nobody did and nobody does play just like him,” bassist Bill Johnson once said. Morton’s braggadocio led musicologist Alan Lomax to call him “a creole Benvenuto Cellini.”

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