Phil Napoleon

Real Name:Filippo Napoli

American jazz trumpeter and bandleader.

Trumpet player that led The Original Memphis Five, a band that helped popularize Dixieland Jazz in the 1920's. He is the uncle of the pianists Teddy Napoleon and Marty Napoleon.

Phil Napoleon (2 September 1901 – 1 October 1990) was a classically trained trumpet player, but he turned his back the concert hall and formed The Original Memphis Five with pianist Frank Signorelli in 1917. The band was one of the most popular and prolific outfits of the 1920’s and featured the trombone playing of Miff Mole.

The Original Memphis Five broke up in 1928 and Phil began making his living as a studio musician until 1937 when he formed his own orchestra, but it didn’t go anywhere and he soon returned to session and studio work.

In 1946 he got a call from Jimmy Dorsey who was in desperate need of a trumpet player, due to the draft. He joined him in L.A. You can see him in the band in the movie ‘Four Jills And a Jeep”. He stayed with Dorsey until 1947. He the came back to New York and worked as a studio musician at NBC until 1950.

He re-formed the The Original Memphis Five and played at Nick’s in New York City for the next six years. In 1956 Phil moved to Miami, Florida and opened his own club called Napoleon’s Retreat where he continued to lead a band. Phil Napoleon died on September 13th, 1990, at his home in North Miami. He was 89 years of age.

In Groups:Bailey's Lucky Seven, Boyd Senter & His Senterpedes, Irving Mills And His Hotsy Totsy Gang, Jack Pettis & His Pets, Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra, Ladd's Black Aces, Miff Mole's Molers, Napoleon's Emperors, Nubian Five, Phil Napoleon & His Dixieland Band, Phil Napoleon & His Orchestra, Phil Napoleon And His Memphis Five, Phil Napoleon’s Emperors Of Jazz, The Broadway Syncopaters, The Charleston Chasers, The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, The New Orleans Black Birds, The Original Memphis Five, The Savannah Six
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