Jerry Blake

Jerry Blake (January 23, 1908 – December 31, 1961) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist.

Blake was born "Jacinto Chabania"[1] in Gary, Indiana and grew up in Nashville. He played violin before switching to reeds. In 1924 he toured with the Sells-Fioto Circus Band, but was left stranded in Chicago; making the best of the situation, he joined Al Wynn's band. He then played with Bobby Lee and Charlie Turner, then toured Europe in 1928-29 as a member of Sam Wooding's ensemble. In the 1930s he played in the US with Chick Webb, Zack Whyte, and Don Redman (1933–34) before returning to Europe to play with Willie Lewis in 1934-35. Once more in the United States, he spent time playing with Claude Hopkins, Fletcher Henderson (1936–38), and Cab Calloway[2] (1938–42); he served as Calloway's musical director for part of that period.

In the early 1940s Blake played with Count Basie, Earl Hines, Lionel Hampton, and Redman again, but around 1943 Blake had a mental breakdown and was unable to play again for the rest of his life, most of which he spent in institutions. He never recorded as a leader.


  1. ^ Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 22.
  2. ^ Gillespie, Dizzy (2009) To Be, Or Not... to Bop, page 108. University of Minnesota Press At Google Books. Retrieved 18 May 2013.