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Jean Goldkette

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John Jean Goldkette (Valenciennes1893 or March 18, 1899 - March 24, Santa Barbara1962 was a jazz pianist and big band leader. He led in the twenties twenty orchestras, whose band that recorded for Victor belonged to the top. It later played famous musicians such as Bix Beiderbecke and the brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.

Goldkette grew up in Greece and Russia. Around 1910 he ended up in America. Classically trained pianist In 1921 played the short time in the band by Andrew Raymond.He saw money in new music, jazz, and founded in the following years in Detroit all kinds of jazz and dance bands, in which he didn't play itself. He was agent andcontractor, had a private room, Graystone Ballroom (with Charles Horvath), and an entertainment company, Jean Goldkette's Orchestras and Attractions. He was involved in several bands, such as Glen Gray 's Orange Blossoms (later Casa Loma Orchestra) and McKinney's Cotton Pickers.

In 1924, he started the Orchestra that grew into one of the best of that time, thanks to the excellent musicians and innovative arrangements (by Bill ChallisRuss Morganand Don Redman). Musicians who played included Beiderbecke, the Dorsey brothers, Hoagy CarmichaelChauncey MorehouseJoe VenutiFrankie TrumbauerPee Wee RussellSteve Brown and Eddie Long. Vocalists were the K Sisters and Lynch, but the group members sang myself though. The Group made recordings for Victor and was ' live ' unbeatable: in a battle of the bandscompetition in New York defeated the Fletcher HendersonOrchestra band. Rex Stewart who was then at Henderson worked (and later at Duke Ellington) called it the best dance Orchestra from that time and ' the first original white swing band in history '.

In 1927 several top musicians could no longer pay Goldkette: they left for the Paul WhitemanOrchestra. The orchestra played with another occupation until 1929. Goldkette Orchestra around 1930 had no more under his wing. He continued to work as a booking agent and was a classical pianist. Mid thirties he became bankrupt. In 1939, he organized the American Symphony Orchestra, which debuted in Carnegie Hall. Starting from the middle of the 1940s and in the 1950s he had several orchestras. In 1959 made his Orchestra recordings for Camden.

In 1961 he moved to California. A year later he died of a heart attack.


  • 1924-1929, The Old Masters, 1999 (lp)
  • Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra, X (RCA) (lp),
  • Dance Hits of the 20 's in Stereo, RCA Camden, 1959
  • Victor Recordings 1924-1928, Transatlantic Radio, 2002
  • Jean Goldkette Bands 1924-1929, Timeless, 2003

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