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Walter Dyett

Walter Dyett

American musician
Walter Dyett
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician
Was Educator Musician Music educator Jazz musician
From United States of America
Type Academia Music
Gender male
Birth 11 January 1901, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.
Death 17 November 1969, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A. (aged 68 years)
Peoplepill ID walter-dyett
The details (from wikipedia)


Walter Henri Dyett (also known as Captain Walter Henri Dyett; January 11, 1901 – November 17, 1969) was an American violinist and music educator in the Chicago Public Schools system. He served as music director and assistant music director at Chicago's predominately African-American high schools; Phillips High School and DuSable High School. Dyett served as musical director at DuSable High School from its opening in 1935 until 1962. He trained many students who became professional musicians.


After studying pre-medical courses at University of California, Berkeley, Dyett moved back home to Chicago, where he worked in vaudeville orchestras and directed an Army band, after which he was known as Captain Dyett. In 1931, he became assistant musical director and later musical director at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago and, in 1935, moved to DuSable High School when it opened. He received his B.M. degree at VanderCook College of Music (Chicago) in 1938, and his M.M. degree at the Chicago Musical College in 1942.

DuSable High School

His program at DuSable quickly acquired an excellent reputation, in particular through an annual revue called Hi Jinks, which he staged to raise money for the program, and attracted the best high school musicians in Chicago. Dyett was known for his discerning ear and strict discipline, for encouraging his students to study and play music of all types instead of concentrating on just one, for his ability to motivate his students to succeed, for being a mentor to graduated students, for insisting that all students take private instruction (which he often arranged at low cost), for the thoroughness of his program, and above all for a vast store of musical knowledge that he could draw on to provide new advice to students whenever he met them.


Among the musicians who studied in Dyett's program are:

  • Gene Ammons
  • Ronnie Boykins
  • Oscar Brashear
  • Homer Brown
  • Wilbur Campbell
  • Sonny Cohn
  • Nat King Cole
  • Jerome Cooper
  • Richard Davis
  • Bo Diddley
  • Dorothy Donegan
  • Jimmy Ellis
  • Von Freeman
  • John Gilmore
  • Johnny Griffin
  • Eddie Harris
  • Johnny Hartman
  • Milt Hinton (at Phillips)
  • Fred Hopkins
  • Joseph Jarman
  • Leroy Jenkins
  • Clifford Jordan
  • Claude McLin
  • Jesse Miller
  • Pat Patrick
  • Walter Perkins
  • Julian Priester
  • Wilbur Ware
  • Dinah Washington
  • John Young
  • Redd Foxx


Dyett died on November 17, 1969, aged 68. He is commemorated by Dyett High School, a Chicago public high school located in the Washington Park neighborhood in Chicago.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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