Man of Many Parts, Buddy Collette, internationally recognized for his contributions in both jazz and classical genres, is a respected reed master, a pioneer of jazz flute, prolific composer, educator and valued mentor to many.
A lifetime resident of Los Angeles, Collette is a central figure in the history of that vibrant mecca of jazz, Central Avenue, where he began his career in the early 30’s on saxophone, both as a player and leader. Early associations include orchestras of Les Hite, Louis Jordan, Benny Carter and Gerald Wilson and the Quintet of Chico Hamilton, which first gained international fame in 1956.
Affirming Collette’s prowess as musician and composer, some 200 entries appear in a 1985 discography compiled by Coen Hoffman – also 30 film shorts, jingles and three feature films scored by our Honoree. Further credits include two volumes of ‘Buddy Collette Songbook’ and a CD on Issues label, ‘Buddy Collette – A Jazz Audio Biography’. In 1980 – a first – Collette received three 2nd place awards by NARAS for flute, clarinet and saxophone; in 1981, the Academy honored him with “Most Valuable Player” Award for clarinet.
An educator of note, Collette served on the faculties of Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Loyola Marymount University, Cal State Polytechnic-Pomona and as Artistic Director of jazz mentoring program, Jazz America. He is currently on the faculty of Cal State University Long Beach, doubling as the Executive Director of the Jazz Preservation Institute.
We are sorry to relate that Buddy passed on 9-19-10.