October 10, 1910 (Houston, TX) – August 31, 1996
The trumpeter Milton Larkin formed his own band in 1936 in Houston, TX, and toured extensively through the territories. Featured musicians in his early band included Arnett Cobb, Wild Bill Davis, Illinois Jaquet, and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. During WWII, Larkin played in Sy Oliver’s Service Band, doubling on valve-trombone. After WWII, Larkin re-formed his band and toured around the country, backing up vocal groups such as the Dominoes and blues guitarist B.B. King. He also led the house bands at the Apollo Theatre and the Celebrity Club in New York. In 1977, after a long residency in New York, Larkin returned to Houston, where he continued to play and supported education of young musicians, and inspired the creation of the Milt Larkin Jazz Society in 1990 (now called “JazzHouston”).