Kenny Dorham

Artist Playlists

About Kenny Dorham

Though he didn’t live past his 40s, trumpeter Kenny Dorham was a potent player in multiple eras and evolutions of jazz. Born in 1924 in Fairfield, TX, Dorham took up the trumpet in his teens, and by the time he was in his early twenties he was working with some major artists. In the 1940s alone, Dorham played with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lionel Hampton, among others. He had chops for days and a warm, clear tone; the combination made him one of the most in-demand bebop trumpeters. Dorham released his first album as a bandleader in 1953 and cofounded The Jazz Messengers the following year. Through the ’50s, he cut a string of his own albums for Blue Note and Riverside, featuring some of his seminal hard-bop compositions. Dorham was also an ubiquitous sideman, working with Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins, to name just a few. In the ’60s, he began a fruitful partnership with Joe Henderson as well as venturing into avant-jazz with the likes of Andrew Hill. Dorham died in New York City at age 48 from a kidney condition but had already racked up several lifetimes’ worth of work.

Fairfield, TX, United States
August 30, 1924
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada