Alvin Alcorn, the New Orleans jazz trumpeter, died July 10 at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. Alcorn would have celebrated his 91st birthday in September.
Born in New Orleans, Alcorn joined the musicians’ union when he was 15 and performed with Armand Piron, Henry Allen, Sr., and the Excelsior Brass Band. In 1931, Alcorn married Lulsbia Joseph, a friend since elementary school. They had seven children.
In 1932, Alcorn joined the Don Albert Band in San Antonio and assumed the first trumpet chair. Returning to New Orleans in 1937, Alcorn performed aboard the steamer President and then joined the Sidney Desvigne orchestra, which featured such musicians as Louis Cottrell, Louis Barbarin and Waldren “Frog” joseph. In 1951, while playing at the Paddock Lounge on Bourbon Street with Papa Celestin, Alcorn secured a gig in California where he encountered trombonist Kid Ory. Ory asked Alcorn to join his band and, during the next four years, Alcorn participated in numerous recording sessions, a European tour and the shooting of the film The Benny Goodman Story.
After his tenure with Kid Ory, Alcorn returned to New Orleans and regularly performed in the French Quarter. At Commander’s Palace, Alcorn was responsible for the musical/gastronomic creation known as the “jazz brunch.”
In November, Alcorn’s wife died at 88. His survivors include four daughters, a sister, 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.