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Henry Crowder

(1890-1955), Jazz musician

Sitter associated with 1 portrait
Born in Gainsville, Georgia, Crowder was a largely self-taught African-American jazz musician. He began his career playing the piano in brothels and other such establishments in Washington D.C. He became a bandleader before departing for Europe (1928). He met shipping heiress Nancy Cunard in Venice when he had a residency at the Hotel Luna and both later become involved romantically and professionally. Cunard's anthology 'Negro' was inspired by Crowder. Crowder married May Frances “Frankie” Turner, Eleanor Roosevelts seamstress at the White House, with whom he fathered one child Henry Jnr. Crowder died in Washington D.C. having largely given up music and performance upon his return from Europe in the 1940's.

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