King Oliver (Joseph Oliver), 1885–1938, American jazz musician, b. Abend, La. Oliver began his professional career in 1904 with the Onward Brass Band. After playing with leading bands in New Orleans and establishing himself as a master cornetist, he moved to Chicago in 1918. From 1920 to 1923 he led the Creole Jazz Band, which became the greatest exponent of the New Orleans, or
jazz idiom. Oliver's style was noted for its bursting, exuberant power and its great range. He strongly influenced Louis Armstrong.
See M. T. Williams, King Oliver (1961), and G. Schuller, Early Jazz (1968).