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Wellman Braud

Wellman Braud (January 25, 1891 - October 29, 1966) was a United States jazz string bass player. His family originally spelled their name "Breaux", pronounced "Bro".

Born in St. James Parish, Louisiana, Braud came to New Orleans in his early teens. He was playing violin and string bass and leading a trio in venues in the Storyville District before 1910. He moved to Chicago in 1917. In 1923 went to London with the Planation Orchestra, in which he doubled on bass and trombone. Next he moved to New York City where he played with Wilber Sweatman's band before joining Duke Ellington. His vigorous melodic bass playing, alternately plucking, slapping, and bowing, was an important feature of the early Ellington Orchestra sound in the 1920s and 1930s. Braud's playing on Ellingon's regular radio broadcasts and recordings helped popularize the slap style of string bass playing, as well as encouraging many dance bands of the time to switch from using a tuba to a string bass.

In 1936 Braud co-managed a short lived Harlem club with Jimmie Noone, then formed the group The Spirits of Rhythm. Played with other New York bands including those of Kaiser Marshall, Hot Lips Page[?], and Sidney Bechet. Returned for a while to Ellington in 1944. In 1956 he joined the Kid Ory Band with whom he stayed for years.

He died in Los Angeles, California.



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