Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Jazz Musician Harold Ousley Passes Away

Harold Lomax Ousley, born January 23, 1929 in Chicago, Ill., passed away yesterday, August 13, 2015.

After studying in high school, Ousley became a professional musician working with circus bands for a number of years from the late 40s. Concurrently, in the early 50s, he played with Gene Ammons, King Kolax and also, in vivid demonstration of his versatility and stylistic range, with Miles Davis.

Through the 50s, mostly playing tenor saxophone, Ousley was often in company with artists of note, among them, Billie Holiday, Brother Jake McDuff, Howard McGhee, Joe Newman, Bud Powell, Clark Terry (the last two playing at the 1959 trip to Paris with a song revue),Dinah Washington (appearing with her at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival), and Joe Williams.

In the 70s, Ousley had a brief spells playing in the big bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. His eclectic versatility was also displayed during engagements with pop, blues and R&B performers, such as George Benson, Big|Brave Maybelle, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Percy Mayfield, Sunnyland Slim and Jimmy Witherspoon.

Ousley's obvious love for many years has been jazz education. He has presented jazz programs to schools and also became involved in the use of music as therapy with the Groves Therapeutic Counseling Service owned and ran by his late wife Alice Groves Ousley. Ousley who also played flute and digital horn, has made some film and television appearances, including appearing in Cotton Comes To Harlem (1970) and hosting his own early 90s cable television show, Harold Ousley Presents. Also in the early 90s, he was teamed up with Bill Doggett, A vigorous player with a rugged emotionalism. Ousley's work often shows the influence of blues, regardless of the setting. The latest CD, Grit- Gittin Feelin.

Watch Harold Ousley Jazz Circle of Friends - Four, Blue Bossa, & Freedom's Child.

Regional Awards


More Hot Stories For You


Willy Chirino And Leoni Torres To Perform Live At NJPAC, December 12Willy Chirino And Leoni Torres To Perform Live At NJPAC, December 12
September 27, 2022

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents Grammy Winner and Salsa/Merengue sensations Willy Chirino with special guest Leoni Torres for an epic salsa concert in Newark, New Jersey on Friday, December 12, 2022, at 8:00 PM. Willy and Leoni recently collaborated on the heartfelt song 'Para Mi Viejo,' They'll join forces to perform the powerful live on the NJPAC stage.

Lena Bloch Premieres New Jazz Suite In Manhattan And Brooklyn This OctoberLena Bloch Premieres New Jazz Suite In Manhattan And Brooklyn This October
September 27, 2022

On the 130th anniversary of the birth of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, during a time when immigrants, women and artists face increasing struggle in the United States, acclaimed Russian-born saxophonist and composer Lena Bloch premieres My Name Is Marina, a commissioned jazz suite for ensemble and voice featuring her own English translations of Tsvetaeva's works.

Carolina-Based Hip Hop Duo Marlowe Announce New Album And Drop 'Past Life' Music VideoCarolina-Based Hip Hop Duo Marlowe Announce New Album And Drop 'Past Life' Music Video
September 27, 2022

Marlowe, the duo of producer L'Orange and rapper Solemn Brigham, has announced their highly-anticipated new album Marlowe 3. Watch the music video for 'Past Life'.

Enjoy Nordic Folk & Jazz At Scandinavia House This Fall!Enjoy Nordic Folk & Jazz At Scandinavia House This Fall!
September 27, 2022

This fall, see live performances from some of the top contemporary Nordic folk and jazz artists at Scandinavia House! This season's lineup brings folk artists from Finland to Sweden to Denmark for evening concerts in Victor Borge Hall, plus a special showcase of Finnish singer/songwriters with Finlandia Foundation New York in October.

Wesli Explores The Roots Of His Afro-Haitian Culture On TRADISYONWesli Explores The Roots Of His Afro-Haitian Culture On TRADISYON
September 26, 2022

To prepare for his ambitious new musical project, Tradisyon, the uniquely talented Haitian-Canadian songwriter, guitarist and producer Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) had to return to his roots. CD Available Worldwide on October 21, 2022.