Kai Winding Day

May 18, 1922 – May 6, 1983


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Trombonist Kai Winding was born in Aarhus, Denmark, on May 18, 1922, and immigrated with his family to the U.S. during his adolescence.

The year he graduated from New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, he became a professional, eventually joining Benny Goodman’s band and later moving on to Stan Kenton’s orchestra.

Winding was one of the players on the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949.

After graduating from Stuyvesant High School in New York in 1940, he joined Shorty Allen’s band, launching his professional career, and would also perform with Alvino Rey and Sonny Dunham.

Following service in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, Winding worked with ensembles led by Benny Goodman and Stan Kenton and appeared on a few tracks at Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” sessions.

During the mid-’50s, at the insistence of Savoy Records producer Ozzie Cadena, Kai recorded a number of trombone duets with J. J. Johnson, many of which he composed or arranged.

His most memorable works during the 1960s were a series of jazz-pop albums for the Verve label. The most popular track from this period is “More,” featured in the movie “Mondo Cane.”

From 1971 to 1972, Kai Winding was a member of the all-star band, the “Giants of Jazz.”

He continued to tour and record for a number of independent labels during the late 1970s and early ’80s and reunited with J.J. Johnson for a live concert in Japan.

Kai Winding and the “Giants of Jazz” performed at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1971.


Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet
Kai Winding, trombone
Sonny Stitt, sax
Thelonius Monk, piano
Al McKibbon, bass
Art Blakey, drums


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