Dick Vance was a fine trumpeter who unfortunately did not solo on record all that often. He grew up in Cleveland and, after a short period playing violin, switched to trumpet. He worked in J. Frank Terry's band in Cleveland and then moved to Lil Armstrong's little-known orchestra (1934-1935). After moving to New York, Vance played with Willie Bryant, Kaiser Marshall, and then more importantly, Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra (1936-1938) where he was the lead trumpeter and an occasional vocalist. Vance joined Chick Webb's Big Band in 1939, staying with the organization for a couple years after Ella Fitzgerald took over (after Webb's passing), arranging many of the charts. Vance then had stints with Charlie Barnet, Don Redman, Eddie Heywood's Sextet (1944-1945), Ben Webster, and others. He attended Juilliard Institute during 1944-1947, played in pit orchestras for decades, and contributed arrangements to many orchestras including those of Duke Ellington, Harry James, Cab Calloway, and Earl Hines. He was also part of Fletcher Henderson's last Sextet (1950), was with Duke Ellington during 1951-1952 (arranging most of the music for the album Ellington '55), toured with Don Redman (1953), and played frequently in the Savoy Ballroom in the '50s. Later in his life he toured Europe with Eddie Barefield in 1969. Dick Vance led two obscure albums in his career, one apiece for Sue (1962) and Strand (from the mid-'60s).
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