Hilton Jefferson

Hilton Jefferson (July 30, 1903 – November 14, 1968) was an American jazz alto saxophonist born in Danbury, Connecticut, perhaps best known for leading the saxophone section from 1940–1949 in the Cab Calloway band.[1] Jefferson is said to have been "a soft, delicate saxophone player, with an exquisite sensibility."[2]

Hilton Jefferson
Birth nameHilton Jefferson
Born(1903-07-30)July 30, 1903
Danbury, Connecticut, United States
DiedNovember 14, 1968(1968-11-14) (aged 65)
Instrumentsalto saxophone
Associated actsCab Calloway

In 1929 Jefferson began his professional career with Claude Hopkins, and throughout the 1930s was busy working for the big bands of Chick Webb, Fletcher Henderson and McKinney's Cotton Pickers. From 1952–1953 Jefferson performed with Duke Ellington, but ultimately became a bank guard to support himself with a steady income. In the 1950s he continued to perform, especially with Rex Stewart and some former members of the Fletcher Henderson band.


With Buster Bailey

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Coleman Hawkins

With Rex Stewart

With The Swingville All-Stars

With Jimmy Witherspoon


  1. Gillespie, Dizzy (2009) To Be, Or Not... to Bop, p. 108. U of Minnesota Press At Google Books. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  2. Panassie, Hugues (2004). The Real Jazz. p. 110. ISBN 1-4191-5028-6.

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