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Marty Napoleon, Pianist for Louis Armstrong, Dies at 93

Also played with Chico Marx, Buddy Rich and others

Marty Napoleon
Marty Napoleon with Louis Armstrong

Pianist Marty Napoleon, who accompanied Louis Armstrong for nearly 20 years, died April 27 in Glen Cove, N.Y. He was 93; the cause of death was not reported. Napoleon was still performing until recently.

Napoleon, born July 2, 1921, in Brooklyn, joined Armstrong’s All Stars in 1952 and remained with the singer/trumpeter until Armstrong’s death in 1971. Prior to working with Armstrong, Napoleon, who was self-taught, played alongside Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers and was a member of a quartet with saxophonist Charlie Ventura, bassist Chubby Jackson and drummer Buddy Rich. He also played with Nat King Cole, Coleman Hawkins and Gene Krupa.

Originally Published