Jack Lesberg

Double bass, Musical Artist

1920 – 2005

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Who was Jack Lesberg?

Jack Lesberg was a jazz double-bassist.

He performed with many famous jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Jack Teagarden, Sarah Vaughan and Benny Goodman, with whom he went on several international tours.

Lesberg had the misfortune of playing in the Cocoanut Grove on the night in 1942 when 492 people lost their lives in a fire. His escape was memorialized by fellow bassist Charles Mingus in an unpublished section of Mingus's autobiography "Beneath the Underdog"; this passage was read by rapper Chuck D. on the Mingus tribute album Weird Nightmare. According to Mingus's telling, Lesberg used his double bass to "make a door" inside the club which aided in his escape.

Lesberg continued to tour in the 1980s and was interviewed for KCEA radio in 1984 following a performance in Menlo Park, California. During the taped interview Jack spoke of the many bands and performers he worked with and expressed his feelings that he felt blessed to be a musician.

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Born
Feb 14, 1920
Boston
Profession
Lived in
  • Boston
Died
Sep 17, 2005
Englewood

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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