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The Jimmy Coe Big Band – Say What?!
Jazz saxophonist and band leader Jimmy Coe began his career as an Indianapolis teenager in the late 1930’s. In 1942 he joined Jay McShann’s band, which included the legendary Charlie “Bird” Parker, whom Coe replaced as sax soloist later that year. In the ’40s, he also played and recorded with Tiny Bradshaw’s band, and organized his own first band while in the Army. From 1950-1953 The Jimmy Coe Bad played at The Cotton Club. Since the 1950’s he has been a legend on the Indianapolis jazz scene, both as a soloist and as the leader of groups from trios to big bands. He is also a composer and arranger. His previous hit records, “the After Hours Joint” and “Honkers and Bar Walkers” were recorded for State Records in the mid-1950s and reissued by Delmark in the 1980’s. In 1972, Duke Ellington presented him with a trophy for lifetime achievements in jazz on behalf of Indiana musicians. A longtime member of the Jazz Educators’ Association, Coe has been Jazz Artist in Residence for the Indianapolis Public Schools since 1984. He also has performed with and arranged for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.