Henderson, Fletcher

Henderson, Fletcher (James Fletcher “Smack” Henderson), 1898–1952, American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist, b. Cuthbert, Ga. Henderson played piano from childhood. Short of funds after coming to New York City in 1920 to study graduate chemistry, he took a job with W. C. Handy's music company. During the 1920s and 30s, Henderson led superbly dynamic jazz orchestras. The hallmarks of his arrangements include two- and four-bar repetitions, bursting section choruses, and solo showcasing. He is considered the creator of “swing” and influenced many musicians, notably Benny Goodman.

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