Arthur Briggs

Arthur Briggs (1899-1981) – the”man who brought Jazz to Europe” – was an African-American bandleader who worked primarily in Europe. He first came to Europe in 1919. In 1922 he returned to Europe and formed the Savoy Syncopators Orchestra in Brussels.The band played residencies in Vienna, Berlin and Paris throughout the 1920s. In 1928 the band broke up. Briggs recorded again in 1929 in Paris, then joined the Noble Sissle Orchestra, which played a long residency in London. From1931 he led bands in Paris, recording with Coleman HawkinsDjango Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. During the Nazi occupation of France during World War Two, Briggs stayed in Paris, and was captured and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, but survived the ordeal and after his liberation continued to play Jazz in Europe until the mid-1960s.

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