Zinky Cohn was born on August 18, 1908 in Oakland, California. He played in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1920s, including in Jimmie Noone’s Apex Club Orchestra from 1928–30. He recorded extensively with Noone between 1929 and 1934, especially for Vocalion Records. Many of the songs Noone recorded were written and/or arranged by Cohn, including Apex Blues that was previously attributed to Earl Hines.
He recorded as a leader in the early 1930s, with a band that featured Leon Washington on tenor saxophone. Zinky recorded with Frankie Franko & His Louisianans in 1930, and also accompanied blues singers such as Georgia White.
In late 1930s he led the Chicago musicians’ union and continued to play locally. Pianist Zinky Cohn passed away on April 25, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois.
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