NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman's Statement on the Death of NEA Jazz Master Eugene Edward "Snooky" Young
Eugene Edward "Snooky" Young was one of the great big band performers, playing trumpet with some of the best-known bandleaders in the country from the 1930s through 1960s, including Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson, Lionel Hampton, and Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. He gained his widest audience as part of Doc Severinsen’s orchestra on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. For 30 years, he was heard every weeknight with the orchestra, remaining with the show until Johnny Carson retired in 1992. He was designated an NEA Jazz Master in 2009 and continued to perform and record with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in 2010. We at the NEA, like many in the jazz world, are saddened by his passing but will celebrate his contributions to the legacy of jazz.