Buddy Collette

Buddy Collette

Birth
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 19 Sep 2010 (aged 89)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Ascension, Lot 7457, Space 3
Memorial ID 58978514 · View Source
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Jazz Musician. A saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader, he was a leading light in the West Coast jazz scene for many years. Born William Marcel Collette to a jazz family, he was raised in Watts where he became a skilled woodwind player from an early age. Leading his first ensemble (which included Charlie Mingus and Britt Woodman) at 12, he was well known locally by his mid-teens. During World War II he served as a US Navy bandleader, then returned home to join the Kings of Swing, again partnering with Mingus and Woodman, and to begin a long career as a premiere sideman. Over the years, he was to collaborate with Frank Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and numerous others; in the late 1940s and early 1950s Collette was the only black in the orchestra for the "Groucho Marx Show", then went on to lead a successful fight to merge the black and white locals of the musicians union. In 1955 he was a founding member of drummer Chicho Hamilton's quintet that was to produce a number of well-received recordings. Continuing his performing career until sidelined by a 1998 stroke, Collette also served as a professor at Loyola Marymount University, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, and other institutions. In 1998 he was named "A Living Los Angeles Cultural Treasure", and in 2000 received a Grammy Award nomination for "The Buddy Collette Big Band in Concert". A participant in the UCLA oral history project "Central Avenue Sounds", he co-founded "JazzAmerica", an educational opportunity effort directed at high school students, and in 2000 published his autobiography "Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society". At his death from an acute respiratory problem much of his large recorded legacy remained in print.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 20 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 58978514
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Buddy Collette (6 Aug 1921–19 Sep 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 58978514, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .