Buddy Collette dies at 89; L.A. jazz saxophone player, bandleader
Collette helped merge the black and white musicians' unions in L.A. and mentored many African American musicians. He was active in preserving and promoting L.A. jazz history.
Buddy Collette, a Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, flautist, bandleader and educator who played important roles in Los Angeles jazz as a musician and an advocate for the rights of African American musicians, has died. He was 89.
Collette died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering shortness of breath a day earlier, according to his daughter Cheryl Collette-White.
Collette's virtuosic skills on saxophones, flute and clarinet allowed him to move easily from studio work in films, television and recording to small jazz groups and big bands. He was, in addition, one of the activists instrumental in the 1953 merging of the then all-African American musicians union Local 767 and the all-white Local 47.