Billy Mitchell (jazz musician)

Billy Mitchell ( born November 3, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri, † April 18, 2001 in Rockville Centre, New York; completely Willie Melvin Mitchell) was an American jazz saxophonist.

Life and work

Mitchell grew up in Detroit. At the age of six, he was given piano lessons, and later the clarinet and the saxophone came about. His professional career began as a seventeen year old in the band of Nat Towles. In 1948 he became a member of Lucky Millinder DERs band in New York City. He also worked with Milt Buckner, Gil Fuller and Jimmy Lunceford and 1949 was briefly a member of Woody Herman's band.

In 1950, he returned to Detroit, where he founded his own band with Tommy Flanagan, Thad Jones and Elvin Jones. 1956-57 he was a member of Dizzy Gillespie's big band from 1958-61 in the Count Basie Orchestra. After that he headed until 1964 a band with Al Grey and worked again in 1967-68 with Count Basie. He also appeared in 1963 and 1970 in Europe with the Big Band of Kenny Clarke and Francy Boland on; Since 1975, he worked again with Gillespie.

Since the 1970s, he increasingly devoted himself to teaching; he worked on the project with Jazz Mobile in Harlem and gave seminars at Hofstra University and Yale University. Until the 1990s, he toured Europe and Japan and appeared regularly in Sonny 's Place, a restaurant in Seaford on.

In the early 1940s worked Mitchell occasionally as an actor, including in WC Fields ' film The Bank Dick. In the 1970s, he produced the film The Marijuana Affair, trombonist Melba Liston in which made ​​an appearance.


  • This Is Billy Mitchell Featuring Bobby Hutcherson with Dave Burns, Clarence Anderson, Otis Finch, Bobby Hutcherson, Herman Wright, Billy Wallace, 1962
  • Little Juicy, 1963
  • Ragtime Recycled, 1973
  • Belcamp Now 's the Time to Roland Prince, Wes, Earl May, Ron Turso, Al Beldini, 1977
  • De Lawd 's Blues with Benny Bailey, Tommy Flanagan, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb, 1980
  • Colossus of Detroit with Barry Harris, Sam Jones, Walter Bolden, 1978
  • Night Flight to Dakar, 1980


  • Obituary in The Independent
  • Jazz saxophonist
  • American musician
  • Born in 1926
  • Died in 2001
  • Man