Born: June 28, 1923 | Died: January 11, 2008 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
It would seem that Pete Candoli has been biding his time in the wings all these years. While Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, etc. have long enjoyed broad public recognition; Pete has finally attained the level of popular acceptance that the quality of his talents as a jazz trumpeter deserves.
Within the Music World Pete Candoli is regarded as one of the most precise and eloquent interpreters of jazz. He and his trumpet playing brother Conte have what amounts to a cult following among aficionados.
A trumpet player of major importance, Pete's association with top bands reads like a Who's Who of jazz. He has been featured with Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, Count Basie, Freddy Slack, Charlie Barnet, etc... in fact, he has played with over 27 of the top named bands.
Although Pete Candoli is best known for the jazz trumpet, his musical background and experience is as varied as it can be. He is equally expert with classical music and pop. He has conducted music seminars and concerts at some (30) universities and colleges when he is not playing a jazz festival, concert, or nightclub somewhere. To date he has worked over (5000) record dates.
He has composed and arranged music and conducted for Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee among others. Having played first trumpet for Igor Stravinsky’s “Ebony Concerto” written for the Woody Herman Orchestra. Pete has received much acclaim for his versatility as a solo trumpeter.
Pete Candoli has won awards as outstanding trumpet player from Downbeat and Metronome Magazines, the 20 most prestigious publications in the music business. Pete also won the Esquire Magazine and the Look Magazine Awards as one of the (7) all-time outstanding jazz trumpet players. The (6) were Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbeck, Harry James, Bunny Berigan, Dizzy Gillespie and Bobby Hackert, there is more. Pete and his brother Conte won The International Jazz Hall of Fame award in 1997, and was honored with The Big Band award in 2003.
Pete began playing lead and jazz for Sonny Dunham’s Orchestra in 1941, followed by a long string of other name bands including Woody Herman’s famed “First Herd.” Pete settled into the studio scene in the 50’s after tenures with Herman, Tex Beneke, Jerry Gray and Stan Kenton among others. He and Conte also co-led a band (1957-62). As a preeminent lead trumpeter, Pete played for the Orchestras of Alex Stordahl, Gordon Jenkins, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, Michel LeGrand, Henry Mancini, as well as Frank Sinatra.
Pete’s exuberant premier lead work and dashing high note specialty is fueled with gratifying surprises always. His sharp, peppered trumpet recalls the brilliance of Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge bulking peaks and climaxes. As for jazz, “I’m radical! I never play the same jazz thing twice!” asserts Pete. “I’m like a chameleon and I play what I feel, although I may favor some patterns. Also, I’m a little staccato... on edge of my fiery type of playing.” In summary both bothers define jazz force at it’s best.