Harvey Boone

Biography by

Harvey Boone died in his late forties, and his final years were spent as a respected music teacher in Atlanta. Prior to this, however, Boone appeared on some 20 recording sessions in the '20s and '30s,…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Harvey Boone died in his late forties, and his final years were spent as a respected music teacher in Atlanta. Prior to this, however, Boone appeared on some 20 recording sessions in the '20s and '30s, activity that saw him sipping from the finest wines in the classic jazz cellar. While he is not a player of earthshaking fame or a major influence on other musicians, Boone was an important part of some of the great early recordings by Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson, among others. He was brought up on the Virginia coast at the turn of the 20th century and the first renowned band he played with was Lucille Hegamin & Her Blue Flame Syncopaters. This group presented the opportunity to tour, which in turn inspired Boone to relocate to New York City following this band's successful appearances there in the early '20s.

The location was also helpful to the reedman's musical education, as he began studying at the New Haven Conservatory of Music shortly after his arrival in the New York area. In 1926, he showed up in an Ellington lineup that also included great players such as fellow saxophonists Otto Hardwick and Prince Robinson. In the early '30s, Boone was part of the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, a job he held for several years, again playing alongside many brilliant jazzmen. His final two jobs of note lasted for similar lengths of time: he was nearly three years with Noble Sissle, a group highly influenced by Ellington, and in 1936 began two years with Don Redman. Following this, he spent his last two years teaching in Atlanta.