Hayes Alvis

Hayes Alvis (May 1, 1907 – December 29, 1972) was an American jazz bassist and tubist.[1]

Hayes Alvis
Birth nameHayes Julian Alvis
Born(1907-05-01)May 1, 1907
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 29, 1972(1972-12-29) (aged 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.


Alvis began on drums but switched to tuba and bass after playing with Jelly Roll Morton in 1927-28.[2] He played tuba with Earl Hines from 1928 to 1930, and did arrangements for Hines as well.[2]

He moved to New York City in 1931 and played with Jimmie Noone in the Mills Blue Rhythm Band from 1931 to 1934 and 1936.[2] A very early double-bass solo can be heard on the latter group's "Rhythm Spasm" (1932).[2] Alvis also occasionally played baritone saxophone in this ensemble as well, and was the group's tour manager.[2] From 1935 to 1938 he played with Duke Ellington, working with fellow bassist/tubist Billy Taylor.[2]

After his period with Ellington, Alvis played with Benny Carter, Joe Sullivan, and Louis Armstrong (in whose ensemble he replaced Pops Foster).[2] From 1942 to 1945 Alvis played in an Army band led by Sy Oliver.[2] After the war, Alvis played with Dave Martin until 1947, and then took a longstanding run as a house musician at the Café Society nightclub in New York City.[2]

In the 1950s, he played in various swing and Dixieland revival groups, including Wilbur De Paris's.[2] In the early 1970s, he played with Jay McShann and Tiny Grimes in a trio.[2]


Hayes Alvis died at his home on December 29, 1972. He was 65 years old.[3]


  1. Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195313734. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. Chadbourne, Eugene. "Hayes Alvis". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. "Hayes Alvis, Jazz Bassist, Former Red Cross Aide". The New York Times. 1973-01-03. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.

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