Louis Mitchell was an African-American band leader who enjoyed considerable success in Europe during the Teens and 1920s. Mitchell originally travelled to Europe with Vernon and Irene Castle in 1912 and then returned to Britain in 1915 where he played in vaudeville with an act called the Seven Spades. In 1918 he returned to New York and drummed in James Europe's Clef Club Band and put together his own band that travelled to Paris, France where they played at hotels and dance clubs. In the 1920s the Jazz Kings played a five year residency at the Casino de Paris (16 rue De Clichy). Mitchell had his own American restaurant called Mitchell's in Montmartre and helped Bricktop (Ada Smith-Ducongé) set up her first club, The Music Box in Paris. Mitchell continued to be active in the music scene in Paris until he returned to America at the onset of World War Two. Mitchell was able to secure bookings for other African-American Jazz bands in Europe as well as running his own clubs, which included the Grand Duc (52 rue Pigalle) and Chez Mitchell. Sidney Bechet played in the Jazz Kings in 1919 and 1920, touring Scotland and England with the band.
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