Born on 31 Dec. 1908, John Kirk (John Kirby) was raised here by the Rev. Washington Johnson. He learned to play the piano and trombone and then moved to Baltimore in the 1920s where he picked up the tuba and bass. In New York City by 1930, he played bass in legendary bands led by Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson. In 1937, the John Kirby Sextet was formed at the Onyx Club on West 52nd Street in New York City. Billed as "The Biggest Little Band in the Land," they were known for their musical precision and intricate arrangements and performed nationally into the middle 1940s. Kirby died on 14 June 1952 in Hollywood, California.
Geographic Location: Winchester
Physical Description of Location: 508 N Kent Street, Winchester, VA 22601. Marker is on right when traveling north on N Kent Street.
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