John Leite Oral History Interview #1

Dublin Core


John Leite Oral History Interview #1




First part of oral history interview with John Leite on August 10, 1999.

Biographical Note:
Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1933; parents from Graciosa, Azores, immigrated to the U.S. ca. 1926; both parents worked in textile mills in Manchester and Lowell; father a loom fixer, mother a spinner; they settled permanently in Lowell ca. 1936; members of St. Anthony Catholic Church, they had three daughters and one son, John J. who was educated in Lowell’s public schools; his father was a trombonist who played in and managed Lowell’s Portuguese Colonial Band; Mr. Leite joined the band as boy, playing the trumpet and later the trombone; after serving in the U.S. Army in post-war Europe, he returned home and matriculated at Lowell State Teachers’ College; after graduating from the college he taught in the area’s public schools, performed as a professional trombonist in well-known local bands, and formed his own band; beginning in the 1970s Mr. Leite became secretary/treasurer of the Lowell local of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), AFL-CIO, and after its merger with other locals in 1995, he was elected president of AFM Local 300.

Scope and Contents:
Interview conducted by Gray Fitzsimons. Mr. Leite discusses growing up in Manchester, NH, his parents' journey to the US, mill work, work on local farms, elementary school memories, how he fell into music, playing with the Portuguese Colonial Band, time spent in the military band, education at ULowell, Music Union, experience with multiple bands and as back-up horns.


UMass Lowell, Center for Lowell History


Leite, John


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Fitzsimons, Gray, “John Leite Oral History Interview #1,” Portuguese American Digital Archive, accessed July 23, 2024,

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