Photograph by Stanley Kubrick,
published in "Look" magazine, 6 June, 1950.
George Lewis (13 July 1900 – 31 December 1968) was an American jazz clarinetist who achieved his greatest fame and influence in the later decades of his life.
Born Joseph Louis Francois Zenon, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Lewis was playing clarinet professionally by 1917, at the age of seventeen, working with Buddy Petit and Chris Kelly regularly as well as the trombonist Kid Ory and other leaders. At this time, he seldom traveled far from the greater New Orleans area.
During the Great Depression he took a job as a stevedore, continuing to take as many music jobs after hours as he could find, a schedule that often meant he got very little sleep.
Watch George Lewis perform Old Rugged Cross, free from YouTube.com.