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 Stuyvasent 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 W. W. 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” perform at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Demark in 1971.


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


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