Cultural Percussionist

Shad Collins Day

Lester Rallingston “Shad” Collins (June 27, 1910 – June 6, 1978) was an American jazz trumpet player, composer and arranger, who played in several leading bands between the 1930s and 1950s, including those led by Chick Webb, Benny Carter, Count Basie, Lester Young, Cab Calloway and Sam “The Man” Taylor.

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the son of a clergyman, he acquired the nickname of “Shad” in his teens, and by the late 1920s had joined Charlie Dixon‘s band. He also performed with pianist Eddie White, before joining Chick Webb’s band in 1931. In the mid-1930s he played in Teddy Hill‘s band, with whom he toured in Britain and Europe, before joining the Count Basie Orchestra. He performed in Basie’s band at the From Spirituals to Swing concerts in New York City in 1938 and 1939. He also worked in the late 1930s in bands led by Benny Carter, Lester Young and Don Redman, among others.

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