Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1923. He began playing the piano at the age of 3, and by the age of 11 was a local phenomenon. At the age of 21, Garner made his way to New York City, and played with legends such as Charlie Parker and Slam Stewart. Garner had a robust tour schedule and a large following of fans, as demonstrated by the string of house records for sold-out shows he set in Boston, Providence and San Francisco. Self-taught, Garner never learned to read music but played by ear.

–written by Lydia Kelow-Bennett


Erroll Garner’s first opening as a bandleader

Garner’s first opening as a bandleader was at the Celebrity Club in Providence, the week of March 5, 1951. He went on to major fame on the jazz circuit.

Erroll Garner sets house record at Celebrity Club

Errol Garner set the house record at the Celebrity Club in the spring of 1951. It was a success he would repeat in Boston and San Francisco within weeks of each other. These events would catapult Garner on a nationwide tour, and boost his record sales with Columbia Records, according to articles in the Chicago Defender (May 19, 1951 and November 24, 1951).  

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