Kolax came as a child to Chicago, where he attended elementary school and at Wendell Phillips High School first lessons with Captain Walter Dyett, had the later director of DuSable High School. Later he studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.
His first professional appearances had Kolax 1936-1937 with a swing formation of Les Wilcox, Howard Loach, trumpeter Robert Dade, trombonist James Aldridge, the saxophonist Andrew " Goon " Gardner, James Skinner and Hiram Nichols, pianist Nat King Cole, bassist Eddie Cole and drummer Al Brown belonged. 1938-1939 Kolax performed with the quintet Kolax King and his Rhythm Makers ( with Fred Brown, Swing Wally, Jap Allen and Hillard Brown) as well as its own big band at Chicago's 65 Club. A short time belonged to Charlie Parker at this big band.
To 1943 Kolax ' orchestra was the first band of African-American musicians who appeared on the NBC radio. This NBC Orchestra, he toured in the following years by the United States. Meanwhile, Benny Powell also played in this band. In 1946, he broke up this big band and joined Billy Eckstine 's big band last. 1948 Kolax was a member of a band that accompanied the singer Sonny Parker.
Also in the 1950s led Kolax own various formations from the quintet to big band, including with Alonzo " Pookie " Johnson. With his orchestra, he played among others until the late 1970s recordings with Danny Overbea, Rudy Green, Mabel Scott, Robert " Billy" Brooks, Piney Brown, Clyde Williams, Harvey Ellington and other one. In 1981, he withdrew completely from the music business. Ten years later he died in Roseland Hospital in Chicago from the effects of Alzheimer 's disease