Born: June 12, 1915 | Died: April 11, 2009 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
One of the greatest lead trumpet players ever to emerge in the swing era, Zeke led the front line of the GREAT PACIFIC JAZZ BAND with authority and taste. At one time or another, Zeke's brilliant trumpet sound has sparked almost every major Swing orchestra since Benny Goodman.
Louis Armstrong and Zeke
He joined the Joe Haymes Orchestra in 1934, then went with Goodman in '36 and Artie Shaw in '37. From 1937 to 1942, he worked and recorded with the big bands of Red Norvo, Bob Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Frank Sinatra, Helen Ward, Judy Garland, Tommy Dorsey and Ella Fitzgerald.
Zeke's trumpet can be heard on such classic original recordings as BENNY GOODMAN'S BUGLE CALL RAG, GLENN MILLER'S MOONLIGHT COCKTAILS, and BOB CROSBY'S much-imitated SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE, to name a few.
When WW-II broke out he was the first man chosen by GLENN MILLER for what was to become his famous ARMY AIR FORCE BAND -- (Army designation 418th Army Band) -- in which he played lead trumpet and was Master (First) Sergeant from 1942 to 1945.
After the war Zeke was brought to Los Angeles by FRANK SINATRA. He settled there and became a much sought after studio musician, backing up hundreds of vocalists from LOUIS ARMSTRONG to TONY BENNETT to DINAH SHORE to THE MILLS BROTHERS. He played for the greatest Hollywood soundtracks including WEST SIDE STORY, DR. ZHIVAGO and the 1953 Universal feature film THE GLENN MILLER STORY. He has been a member of the NBC Staff Orchestra in both Los Angeles and New York, including 9 consecutive years in Los Angeles.
His travels have included many tours to Europe, South America, and Australia along with thirty-two trips to Japan.