Kenneth Roane never became famous but he was an asset on many sessions over the years. An early multi-instrumentalist who also played clarinet, saxophone and oboe, Roane grew up in Springfield, MA and moved to New York in 1923. He mostly freelanced, playing with a wide variety of top artists including Jelly Roll Morton, Cecil Scott, Clarence Williams, Lloyd Scott and Fess Williams, recording with the latter two and occasionally subbing with Duke Ellington. During the Depression, Roane often led his own orchestra and sometimes played for Broadway shows, although he also had stints with Joe Jordan, Charlie Johnson, Sammy Stewart, Sam Wooding and Wen Talbot's Harlem Symphonic Society Orchestra. He was part of an odd recording session with Sidney Bechet and Willie "The Lion" Smith in 1939 (in which they performed Haitian songs) and was on four titles with bassist Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers (1936) that served as the recording debut of Nat "King" Cole. In the 1940s, Roane played with Fats Waller, Cecil Scott, Louis Jordan, Noble Sissle, Buddy Johnson and Claude Hopkins, among others. Roane, who never led his own record date, stayed active as a teacher and worked as a top official in his Musicians' Union until his death.
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