Conte Candoli

Secondo "Conte" Candoli (July 12, 1927 – December 14, 2001) was an American jazz trumpeter based on the West Coast. He played in the big bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie, and in Doc Severinsen's NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He played with Gerry Mulligan, and on Frank Sinatra's TV specials. He also recorded with Supersax, a Charlie Parker tribute band that consisted of a saxophone quintet, the rhythm section, and either a trumpet or trombone.

Conte Candoli
Portrait of Conte Candoli.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSecondo Candoli
Born(1927-07-12)July 12, 1927
Mishawaka, Indiana, U.S.
DiedDecember 14, 2001(2001-12-14) (aged 74)
Palm Desert, California
Years active1943–2001
Associated acts

Music careerEdit

Conte was the younger brother of trumpeter Pete Candoli. He was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, on July 12, 1927. During the summer of 1943, while at Mishawaka High School, Secondo "Conte" Candoli sat in with Woody Herman's First Herd.[1] After graduating in 1945, he joined the band full-time, where he sat side by side with his brother Pete in the trumpet section. Conte immediately went on the road, where he stayed for the next ten years, with Herman, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie.

In 1954, after leaving Stan Kenton, Candoli formed his own group with sidemen Chubby Jackson, Frank Rosolino, and Lou Levy. He soon moved to Los Angeles to join the Lighthouse All-Stars with Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, and Bob Cooper, and was with them for four years.

Candoli's long relationship with The Tonight Show began in 1967 and he became a permanent fixture in the orchestra's trumpet section when Johnny Carson moved the show to Burbank, California in 1972. For many years he preferred to stay in California where he could do The Tonight Show, take all the studio work he wanted, and do occasional concerts and clinics. He ventured to Kansas in 1986 as a WJF All-Star with Jerome Richardson, Barney Kessel and Monty Alexander at the 1986 Wichita Jazz Festival. After Carson's retirement in 1992, he traveled occasionally with Doc Severinsen, but still enjoyed his solo playing.

His playing brought him performing and recording opportunities with top names in show business, such as Gerry Mulligan, Shelly Manne, Terry Gibbs, Teddy Edwards, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan. He has appeared in many motion pictures with various orchestras and worked in all of Frank Sinatra's TV specials.

Candoli was inducted into The International Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997. He died of prostate cancer at the age of 74, in Palm Desert, California.[2]

Band membershipsEdit

Candoli at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California, 1988
Band Years
Woody Herman's First Herd 1943 Summer
Chubby Jackson's Fifth Dimensional Jazz Group
Stan Kenton 1948
Charlie Ventura's "Bop for the People" 1949
Stan Kenton 1951–1954
Terry Gibbs Dream Band
Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band 1960–1961
Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars 1956–1960
The Tonight Show 1967–1972 Guest
1972–1992 Regular
Candoli Brothers 1957–1962


Album Release
Sincerely, Conte Candoli 1954
Groovin' High: Conte Candoli, Vol. 2 1955
Toots Sweet and West Coast Wailers 1955
Groovin' Higher: Conte Candoli Quintet 1955
Conte Candoli Quartet 1957
Mucho Calor 1957
Little Band Big Jazz 1960
Conversation 1973
Candoli Brothers 1970s
Old Acquaintance 1985
Sweet Simon 1992
Meets the Joe Haider Trio 1994
Portrait of a Count 1966
Candoli Live 2002
The Complete Phoenix Recordings, Vol. 1 2002
Fine and Dandy

As sidemanEdit

With Manny Albam and Ernie Wilkins

With Chet Baker

With Louis Bellson

With Elmer Bernstein

With Buddy Bregman

With Bob Cooper

With Sonny Criss

With Teddy Edwards

with Victor Feldman

With Maynard Ferguson

With Clare Fischer

With Gil Fuller

With Stan Getz

With Stan Levey

  • This Time The Drum's On Me (Bethlehem, 1955)

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Stan Kenton

With Shelly Manne

With Jack Montrose

With Frank Morgan

With Gerry Mulligan

With Joe Newman

With Jack Nitzsche

With Anita O'Day

With Art Pepper

  • Gettin' Together (Contemporary 1958)

With Betty Roché

With Shorty Rogers

With Pete Rugolo

With Bud Shank

With Lalo Schifrin

With Gerald Wilson

With Pete Candoli

  • The Candoli Brothers (Dobre Records DR1050, 1978)


  1. ^ "Conte Candoli, 74, Trumpeter for 'Tonight'". The New York Times. December 21, 2001.
  2. ^ Thurber, Jon (December 16, 2001). "Conte Candoli, 74; Trumpeter Played in 'Tonight Show' Band". Los Angeles Times.

External linksEdit