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Leon Washington

Born Leon Gemstone Washington in Jackson, MS, Washington lived in Chicago from age three. He performed clarinet before switching to tenor sax. Washington researched sax using the renowned mouthpiece developer and saxophonist Santy Runyon. He started his professional profession instantly upon graduating from senior high school in 1926, dealing with pianist Zinky Cohn, amongst others.Washington made his first saving in 1930 with bandleader Frankie Franco and from 1931-1933 caused Bernie Adolescent & the Creolians. From 1934-1935 he used bandleader Carroll Dickerson at Chicago’s Sunset Café. In 1935, Washington performed in Louis Armstrong’s big music group for a limited period; soon thereafter he toured with Body fat Waller’s big music group. In 1937 Washington became a member of Earl Hines’ music group in the Grand Terrace. A yr later he started using drummer Crimson Saunders’ music group. Washington remained with Saunders for 25 years — 18 of these spent in home at Chicago’s Golf club de Lisa. Washington 1st documented with Saunders in 1945 and performed on most from the drummer’s subsequent classes. He also documented under his personal name and with others. Upon departing Saunders in 1963, Washington became a musician’s union established in Chicago, which he continued to be until his loss of life of leukemia in 1973.

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