From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Vance, Richard Thomas "Dick"

(born: 1914  -  died: 1985) 

Richard "Dick" Thomas Vance, born to Thomas and Lillian Wilson Vance in Mayfield, KY, was an arranger, singer, and trumpeter. His family moved to Cleveland, OH, where he studied violin and later the trumpet.

Vance settled in New York, where he played with a number of bands, touring with Frank Terry, Lil Armstrong, Kaiser Marshall, Willie Bryant, and Fletcher Henderson, to name a few. He was highly sought after for his ability to write arrangements. He wrote for many bands, including those led by Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Don Redman, Billy Eckstine, Glen Gray, and Duke Ellington.

Both his arrangements and trumpet playing can be  found on many recordings, include Ellington '55, Stompin' at the Savoy, Coleman Hawkins, 1945, and Fletcher Henderson's Sextet, 1950. Vance was the music arranger on the film No Maps on My Taps and music director on The Spirit Moves [volume 3].

For more see "Dick Vance" in the Oxford Music Online Database and Who's Who of Jazz. See photographs of Dick Vance at and

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Graves County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Mayfield, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Vance, Richard Thomas "Dick",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-12-09 20:57:22