Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 28, 1930, trombonist Gene "Mighty Flea" Conners (sometimes spelled "Connors") first attracted attention when he performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival on September 19, 1970, as a member of the Johnny Otis Orchestra. Like many Afro-American musicians before and since, Conners visited Europe and liked it so well that he stayed on and spent much of the rest of his life performing for appreciative audiences. Conners recorded an album called Let the Good Times Roll for Polydor Records in London on August 25, 1972. His next spate of recording activity began in Paris on February 1, 1976, with the highly acclaimed Black & Blue release Comin' Home, featuring saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and culminated in Gene Conners in Dixieland, a traditional jazz album recorded for Riff Records on April 24, 1976, at the New Orleans Jazz Club at the popular seaside resort of Scheveningen in The Hague, Netherlands. In 1981 Conners recorded Sanctified, a bluesier, more modern-sounding album for the JSP label in London, then put together Copenhagen Stew for Storyville Records with Finn Otto Hansen and Ole "Fessor" Lindgreen's Session Boys on January 9, 1982, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Among later sightings, the Mighty Flea was observed performing Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles tunes with his band the Voyagers on April 13, 2005, at the 36th annual Burghausen Jazz Week in Bavaria. He returned to the U.S. and was living in Arizona at the time of his death from lung cancer on June 10, 2010. Gene "Mighty Flee" Conners was 79 years old.
Gene "Mighty Flea" Conners Biography
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