Sidney “Big Sid” Catlett

Sidney “Big Sid” Catlett (January 17, 1910 – March 25, 1951) was an American jazz drummer.


Catlett was born in Evansville, Indiana, and started at piano, but switched to drums and entered formal study when his family moved to Chicago. His career began in Chicago in 1928 with Darnell Howard. In adulthood, he moved to New York City and worked with Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Elmer Snowden, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, and others. In 1941, he joined Benny Goodman’s band and after that joined Teddy Wilson’s Sextet. In 1944, he did an album with pianist Harry Gibson. He also had his own band and played for Louis Armstrong’s All Stars from 1947 to 1949 and became his drummer of choice. He played bop, dixieland, and other styles.

In early 1951, he began to suffer from pneumonia. In that same year, he died of a heart-attack while visiting friends backstage at a Hot Lips Page benefit concert in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1996, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Partial discography

Jam Sessions At Commodore (1951 LP)


Jammin’ the Blues (1944)

This page is a Wiki! Log in or register an account to edit.