Daily Archives: January 15, 2010

“Champion” Jack Dupree Barrel House Piano Professor

“Champion”¬† Jack Dupree is another New Orleans piano pounder I have always admired though I never got to see him play. Orphaned at age 2 he grew up in the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs as did Luis Armstrong. Jack taught himself piano and became known as a barrel-house¬† style “professor.”

In his early years he lived in Chicago and then moved to Detroit where he worked as a cook and met the great Joe Louis who encouraged Jack to become a boxer. He ultimately fought in 107 bouts and winning the Golden Gloves and other championships, and picked up the nickname “Champion Jack” that he used for the rest of his life.

Dupree moved to Europe in 1960 living in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and England before settling in Germany where he died of cancer in 1992.


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