Born in Cleveland, Ohio. He works locally until he joins Harlan
Leonard's Rockets, a Kansas City
band, in New York in 1940, as pianist and arranger. He also writes
for Jimmy Lunceford, Coleman Hawkins,
Georgie Auld, Billy Eckstine and Count Basie;
and later in the 1940s for Dizzy Gillespie's
big band, who perform his extended orchestral piece Soulphony
at Carnegie Hall in 1948.
Dameron writes for Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt and others, and makes
his own last recording in 1962.
He leads a regular group of 6-10 players, originally with Fats
Navarro on trumpet at the Royal Roost club for much of 1948,
and later Miles Davis, with whom he
appears at the Paris Jazz Fair of 1949. He stays on briefly in Europe,
writing and arranging for Geraldo and Ted Heath in England.
Dameron works briefly with Clifford Brown,
but drug dependency limits his activity, and he is imprisoned 1958-60.
Tadd Dameron dies of cancer.