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Albert Nicholas
Albert Nicholas (Gottlieb 06571).jpg
Albert Nicholas, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, ca. March 1947. Image: William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Born (1900-05-27)May 27, 1900
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died September 3, 1973(1973-09-03) (aged 73)
Basel, Switzerland
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Clarinet
Years active 1910s–1973

Albert Nicholas (May 27, 1900 – September 3, 1973) was an American jazz clarinet player.


Nicholas's primary instrument was the clarinet, which he studied with Lorenzo Tio in his hometown of New Orleans. Late in the 1910s he played with Buddy Petit, King Oliver, and Manuel Perez. He spent three years in the Merchant Marines and then joined Oliver in Chicago from 1925 to 1927. After time in East Asia and Egypt, he returned to New York City in 1928 and played with Luis Russell until 1933, playing there with Red Allen, Charlie Holmes, and J. C. Higginbotham. Later he played with Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong (with Russell) and Jelly Roll Morton.

The Dixieland jazz revival of the late 1940s reinvigorated his career; he played with Art Hodes, Bunk Johnson, and Kid Ory, and had a regular gig with Ralph Sutton in 1948. In 1953 he moved to France; except for recording sessions in the U.S. in 1959-60, he remained there for the rest of his life.


  • Albert Nicholas & Mezz Mezzrow (Jazztone, 1956)
  • The Scobey Story Vol. 1 (Good Time Jazz, 1959)
  • Albert Nicholas with Art Hodes' All-Star Stompers (Delmark, 1964)
  • Albert's Blues (77 Records, 1966)
  • Barney Bigard/Albert Nicholas (RCA, 1969)
  • A Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton (Storyville, 1972)
  • Albert Nicholas with Alan Elsdon's Band Vol. 1 (Jazzology, 1995)
  • Albert Nicholas with Alan Elsdon's Band Vol. 2 (Jazzology, 1996)
  • Story 1926–1947 (EPM, 1998)
  • New Orleans Clarinet (Sanctuary, 2006)
  • Albert Nicholas & Herb Hall (GHB, 2015)
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