Reuben Reeves

Reuben "River" Reeves (October 25, 1905 in Evansville, Indiana – September 1975 in New York City) was an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader.

Reeves started out playing locally in the Midwest; he moved to New York City in 1924 and then to Chicago in 1925. In 1926 he joined Erskine Tate's orchestra, then played with Fess Williams and Dave Peyton (1928–1930). He signed to Vocalion and recorded as a bandleader with his groups the Tributaries and the River Boys; among his sidemen were his brother, trombonist Gerald Reeves, and clarinetist Omer Simeon (20 sides were recorded in 1929). He played under Cab Calloway in 1931-32, and recorded again with the River Boys in 1933. He toured as a leader from 1933–35, then played freelance through the late 1930s. During World War II, he led an Army band called the Jungleers. Stationed at the Army Jungle Training Center on the northeast coast of Oahu, they were popular participants in Battle of the Band competitions that were an integral part of the "extraordinary music scene in Hawaii during the war." After the war, he played in Harry Dial's Blusicians in 1946.

Reeves' entire output as a bandleader has been released to a single compact disc by RST Records.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 25th, 1905 (Chicago), Died New York City

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: trumpet, cornet, composer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh W401958 10-in. 5/22/1929 Bugle call rag Ed Lang Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick E36212 10-in. 3/3/1931 Minnie the moocher Cab Calloway Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, trumpet  
Decca 75848 2/9/1950 Prince's boogie woogie Harry Dial and his Bluesicians instrumentalist, trumpet  
Decca 75849 2/9/1950 Diddy we Diddy Harry Dial and his Bluesicians instrumentalist, trumpet  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Reeves, Reuben," accessed October 31, 2020,

Reeves, Reuben. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 31, 2020, from

"Reeves, Reuben." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 31 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



Send the Editors a message about this record.