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Jazz musician stage names

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Hi. I am trying to compile a list of jazz musicians who used stage names in their careers for a research project but also for anyone else who may need something comprehensive down the line for their own work.

This includes all the singers and those whose name change was due to conversion to Islam and used on recording (drawn from Michael Fitzerald's work here: https://jazzmf.com/muslim-names-in-jazz/) but DOES NOT include nicknames or pseudonyms used for recording on other labels (already done here: https://jazzmf.com/jazz-musician-pseudonyms/)

Here is what I have so far. Additions/corrections greatly appreciated.


Muneer Abdul Abdul (Bernard Fennell)

Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim (Juan Amalbert)

Ahmed Abdullah (Leroy Bland)

Idris Ackamoor (Bruce Baker)

Dawoud Abdus Sabur Adeyola (David Lewis)

Kamau Adilifu (Charles Sullivan)

Pheeroan AkLaff (Paul Maddox)

Khaliq Abdul Al Rouf (Edgar Drew)

Yusef Ali (Joe Hadrick)

Muhammad Ali (Raymond Patterson)

Rashied Ali (Robert Patterson)

Kaeef Ali (Bob Crowley, Jr.)

Hasaan Ibn Ali (William Henry Langford, Jr.)

Brooks Arthur (Arnold Bordsky)

Abdul Baari (Wendell Harrison)

Rashid Bakr (Charles Downs)

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

Nasir Barakaat (Fred Lacey)

Zahir Batin (Michael Sheppard)

Tony Bennett (Anthony Benedetto)

TK Blue (Eugene Rhynie)

Willie Bobo (William Correa)

Simon Booth (Simon Emmerson)

Betty Carter (Lillie Mae Jones)

Samarai Celestial (Eric Walker)

Eleanor Collins (Elnora Procter)

Talib Dawud (Alfonso Barrymore)

Kalaparusha Ahra Difda (Maurice McIntyre)

Hamid Drake (Hank Drake)

Hotep Idris Galeta (Cecil Bernard)

Stan Getz (Stanley Gayetski)

Shafi Hadi (Curtis Porter)

Nasir Hafiz (Abe Woodley)

Sadik Hakim (Argonne Thornton)

Luqman Hamza (Larry Cummings)

Abdul-Khaliq Hassan (Ray Mills)

Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan)

Abdullah Ibrahim (Adolph "Dollar" Brand)

Abdul Rahim Ibrahim (Doug Carn)

Ibrahim Ibn Ismail (Walter Bishop, Jr.)

Ahmad Jamal (Frederick Russell Jones)

Khan Jamal (Warren Cheeseboro)

Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins)

Hakim Jami (Finroy Hayes)

Vic Juris (Vic Jurusz)

Musa Kaleem (Orlando Wright)

Arleem Kareem (Pinky Williams)

Shafek Kareem (Skippy Williams)

Muhammad Al Amien Abdul Kariem (Rene McLean)

Omar Ahmed Abdul Kariem (Jackie McLean)

Steve Lacy (Steve Lackritz)

Cleo Laine (Clementina Dinah Bullock)

Yusef Lateef (William Huddleston, later Evans)

Yusef Lateef (William Evans)

Mel Lewis (Mel Sokoloff)

Abbey Lincoln (Anna Marie Wooldridge)

Raphe Malik (Laurence Mazel)

Pat  Martino (Pat Azzara)

Mat Mathews (Mathieu Hubert Wijnandts Schwarts)

Helen Merrill (Jelena Ana Milcetic)

Butch Miles (Charles J. Thornton, Jr.)

George Mraz (Jiri Mraz)

Idris Muhammad (Leo Morris)

Yusuf Mumin (Joseph Phillips)

Damu Mustafa Abdul Musawwir (James Blood Ulmer)

Jamil Nasser (George Joyner)

Abdul Nur (Ron (Rahn) Burton)

Jeff Palmer (Jeff Massari)

Errol Parker (Raphaël Schecroun)

Nadi Quamar (Spaulding Givens)

Basheer Qusim (George General "Gigi" Gryce)

Sun Ra (Sonny Blount)

John Rae (John Anthony Pompeo)

Mustafa Abdul Rahim (Donald Strickland)

Mustafa Abdul Rahman (Donald Strickland)

Haleen Rasheed (Howard Bowe)

Sonny Red (Sylvester Kyner)

Rita Reys (Maria Everdina Reijs)

Annie Ross (Annabelle Short Lynch)

Rasul Sadik (Jan Corlus Mahr)

Liaquat Ali Salaam (Kenny Clarke)

Abdul Salaam (William Chiefie Scott)

Masujaa Aliye Salamu (Hugh Riley)

Mashujaa Aliye Salamu (Hugh Riley)

AK Salim (Albert Atkinson)

Yusef Salim (Joseph Blair)

Rashied Salim (William Brister)

Sal Salvador (Silvio Smiraglia)

Pharoah Sanders (Farrell Sanders)

Sulaimon Saud (McCoy Tyner)

Sadiq Shabazz (Steve Berrios)

Majid Shabazz (Benjamin McGriff)

Jaribu Shahid (Glenn Henderson)

Hassan Shakur (J.J. Wiggins)

Marlena Shaw (Marlina Burgess)

Brad Shepik (Brad Schoeppach)

Sahib Shihab (Edmund Gregory)

Carol Sloane (Carol Morvan)

Sonny Stitt (Edward Boatner, Jr. and adopted by the Stitts)

Idrees Sulieman (Leonard Graham)

Luquman Abdul Syeed (Steve Davis)

Jamaaladeen Tacuma (Rudy McDaniel)

Abdul Wadud (Ronald DeVaughn)

George Wallington (Giacinto Figlia)

Jack Wilkins (Jack Rivers Lewis)

Khalid Yasin (Larry Young)

Kahil'El Zabar (Clifton Blackburn)

Kiane Zawadi (Bernard McKinney)

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Louie Bellson- Luigi Paolino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni

Joe Pass- Joseph Passalaqua

Joe Farrell-  Joseph Carl Firrantello

My fave one, because my sister's mother-in-law knew him in Brooklyn by this name:

Terry Gibbs- Julius Gubenko

Edited by sgcim
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Walter Piston used to make his living as a 'dance band' saxophone player before he went legit, so I guess he counts.

Walter Piston-  Walter Pistone

Artie Shaw--Arthur Jacob Arshawsky

Joe Dixon -- Giuseppe Ischia;

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I think all these should simply be viewed as name changes, no matter if caused by religious conversion (to muslim faith), or the Americans' problems with pronounciation of foreign names (mostly Italian or Spanish), or attempts to hide a Jewish origin, or whatever. Michael Fitzgerald also included pseudonyms used because of contractual obligations, which are numerous.

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Nat King Cole - Nathaniel Adams Coles

Ike Cole - Isaac James Coles

Eddie Cole - Edward Bennett Coles

Freddy Cole - Lionel Frederick Coles

George Brunis - George Clarence Brunies

Tadd Dameron - Tadley Ewing Dameron  He initial spelled his first name with one d and later added a second d.

Stephane Grappelli - Stefano Grappelli  

In the early part of his career the violinist’s last name appeared as Grappelly into the 1960s and even after it was reverted to the original spelling on recordings that is how he continued to sign his name. I have a dated autograph on an LP that Marian McPartland borrowed from me that he signed during his Piano Jazz session.




Edited by Ken Dryden
Damned autocorrect!
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13 hours ago, gvopedz said:

If I remember correctly, Abbey Lincoln was not her first stage name.

nor her last: she also went by Aminata Moseka.

I'd also think married names would not necessarily be stage names, but it is an interesting idea for a resource.

Also, Muneer Abdul Fataah = Bernard Fennell. 

Another one I'm interested in is Daoud Haroon (John Mancebo Lewis)

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