Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Louie Bellson, Jazz Drummer, was 84

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

He was one of the best and most exciting and respected jazz drummers to grace our ears. Louie Bellson fell breaking his hip in early November, which was followed by complications with Parkinson's disease--he died on Valentines Day at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center . "Tenative plans are for an L.A. area funeral, followed by funeral and burial in Moline, Illinois, his boyhood home," his website announced.

In the LA Times, Oscar Peterson described Bellson, who played with Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Harry James and Duke Ellington among others, as "the epitome of musical talent. . . . I consider him one of the musical giants of our age." Ellington called him "the world's greatest drummer."