Russell “Big Chief” Moore Received Legacy Circle Award

Russell "Big Chief" Moore playing the trombone. Photo:

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community sister tribe member Russell “Big Chief” Moore (1912-1983) of the Gila River Indian Community has received the Legacy Circle Award from the International Trombone Association. The award recognizes his unparalleled accomplishments in the trombone community. Moore learned how to play the trumpet as a youth and later began playing the trombone. During his career he played with Oscar “Papa” Celestin’s band, Ernest Lawrence “Ernie” Fields, and Harlan Leonard and The Rockets, as well as playing first trombone with Louis Armstrong’s orchestra. Moore also collaborated with artists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Sidney Bechet. He was a musical ambassador for the National Conference of American Indians, traveling throughout Indian Country speaking to Native American youth. To read more about Moore’s Legacy Circle Award, visit

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