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Teddy Wilson
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Teddy Wilson

Theodore Shaw (Teddy) Wilson (19121986) was an American jazz pianist.

Wilson studied piano and violin at Tuskegee Institute. After working in the Speed Webb and Louis Armstrong bands, he joined Benny Carter's Chocolate Dandies in 1933. In 1935 he joined the Benny Goodman Trio (later the Benny Goodman Quartet, with the addition of Lionel Hampton) which performed during the big band's intermissions. By joining the Trio Wilson became the first black musician to perform with a white jazz group.

Wilson formed his own short-lived big band in 1939, then led a sextet at Cafe Society from 1940 to 1944. In later years he taught at the Juillard School and performed as a soloist and with pick-up groups. From the 1930s on he recorded many highly regarded sessions with a wide range of important swing musicians. In the 1930s he recorded fifty hit records with various singers, including many of Billie Holiday's most successful records.

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