Fletcher Henderson

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Date of Birth December 18, 1897
Place of Birth Cuthbert, Georgia
Date of Death Dec 29, 1952 (55)
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Fletcher Henderson

James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson Jr. was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. He was one of the most prolific black musical arrangers and, along with Duke Ellington, is considered one of the most influential arrangers and bandleaders in jazz history. Henderson's influence was vast. He helped bridge the gap between the Dixieland and the swing eras. He was often known as Smack Henderson.

Birth name: James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson Jr.
Also known as: "Smack" Henderson
Born: Dec 18, 1897, Cuthbert, Georgia, United States
Died: Dec 29, 1952, New York, New York, United States
Genres: Jazz, swing
Occupation(s): Musician, arranger, bandleader
Instruments: Piano
Years active: 1921–1950
IMDb: Fletcher Henderson's IMDb

About Fletcher Henderson

Influential musician who contributed greatly to the evolution of big band jazz and swing music in the United States.

Before Fame

He originally intended to pursue a career in chemistry, but because of his race, he realized his options would be limited.


He had many musical luminaries in his band around 1925, including Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Dixon, Kaiser Marshall, Buster Bailey, Elmer Chambers, Charlie Green, Ralph Escudero, and Don Redman.

Family Life

He was the older brother of multifaceted jazz pianist Horace Henderson, who accompanied Billie Holiday and Lena Horne throughout his career.


His impact on music history was unquestioned by experts and was often placed on par with Duke Ellington's impact as an arranger and bandleader.

Information related to Fletcher Henderson

  • Orchestral jazz musicians
  • Swing bandleaders
  • Swing pianists
  • African-American jazz composers
  • Paramount Records artists
  • African-American jazz pianists
  • 20th-century jazz composers
  • Gennett Records artists
  • Clark Atlanta University alumni
  • Vocalion Records artists
  • Musicians from Georgia (U.S. state)
  • African-American jazz musicians
  • Big band bandleaders
  • American jazz bandleaders
  • American music arrangers
  • American jazz composers
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Latest information about Fletcher Henderson updated on October 25, 2020.

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