[Quintette du Hot Club de France] Lévêque, Gérard. (1924–1978)
Hot Club de France "Coupe Jo Bouillon" Silverplate Christofle Trophy
Impressive Art Deco style trophy, silverplate over bronze by Christofle (stamped on the foot), with the impressed inscription translated from the French: "Hot Club de France/ 6th Amateurs Tournament/ Jo Bouillon Cup/ Awarded/ to the Best Soloist of the Tournament/ The Clarinettist/ Gérard Lévêque," 1943. Handling and light scratches, overall very fine, 15 h x 7.5 w inches (38 x 19 cm.). French clarinetist and arranger Gérard Lévêque is best known today as having been a member of Django Reinhardt's Quintette du Hot Club de France, where he was generally the musician to first notate Django's dictated musical compositions. Founded in 1934 by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli and active in one form or another until 1948 it was one of the earliest and most significant continental jazz groups in Europe, described by critic Thom Jurek as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz."
The trophy namesake, Jo Bouillon (1908-1984) was a prominent French composer, conductor and violinist. From 1936 to 1947, he directed the "Jo Bouillon et son orchestre" ensemble and as Joséphine Baker's fourth husband, he enjoyed prominence in the 1950s conducting and accompanying her on her tours.