Albert Snaer

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His name looking like a mangled order for a drum part, trumpeter Albert Snaer came up during one of the most historic eras of New Orleans jazz. During the ´20s he played on the famous riverboats with…
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His name looking like a mangled order for a drum part, trumpeter Albert Snaer came up during one of the most historic eras of New Orleans jazz. During the ´20s he played on the famous riverboats with Dewey Jackson and George Augustin, co-leading the Moonlight Serenaders band with the latter performer. Snaer had previously studied with Paul Chaligny, one of many near-mythological New Orleans players who were nicknamed "Professor." Prior to relocating to New York City in 1928, the trumpeter also played with the Excelsior Brass Band and Fate Marable.

For most of the ´30s and a touch of the ´40s Snaer was heavily associated with the subtle pianist and bandleader Claude Hopkins; his other Big Apple gigs included the orchestras of Andy Kirk and LeRoy Smith. From about 1942 Snaer continued to play music, but only part time. While many musicians whine about "being taken to the cleaners" by record companies or managers, Snaer actually ran his own dry cleaning business in Connecticut, showing up on some late ´40s dates with the great Sidney Bechet. The last several years of the trumpeter´s life were spent in San Francisco. His main musical collaborator during this final period was Big Boy Goudie. Snaer died in 1962 but his death was actually reported in newspapers in 1960: he is said to have read his own obituary with perplexed amusement.