Roy Eldridge Day

January 30, 1911 – February 26, 1989

Willow Weep For Me

Trumpeter David Roy Eldridge was born January 30, 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Eldridge began playing piano at age 5, and picked up the drums when he was 6. When he was 11, he started on the trumpet.

He dropped out of school in ninth grade, and started his first band when he was 20.

In 1930 he moved to New York City, where he joined Gene Krupa’s orchestra and toured with Anita O’Day.

As for his influence, Dizzy Gillespie said of him: “He was the Messiah of our generation.”

Originally from Pittsburgh, Roy Eldridge earned the Nick name “Little Jazz” as a young trumpeter influenced by Jabbo Smith performing with circus bands.

Artistically he was known for his powerfully and sophisticated harmonies representative of the swing era.

The “Oscar Peterson Trio” perform at a 1957 Jazz At The Philharmonic concert in Amsterdam with musical guests Roy Eldridge and Herb Ellis.


Roy Eldridge, trumpet
Oscar Peterson, piano
Herb Ellis, guitar
Ray Brown, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums


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