One of the key figures on the Los Angeles jazz scene, Buddy Collette was a saxophonist, flautist, bandleader and educator who also worked as an advocate for the rights of African American musicians.
Collette passed away on Sunday at the age of 89 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. He had suffered shortness of breath a day earlier, according to his daughter Cheryl Collette-White.
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During his lengthy career, Collette performed and recorded with such notable musicians as Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker, Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and more.
Away from the stage, Collette was active in the local labor movement, and in 1953, he was one of the key people who helped to integrate the then all-African American musicians union Local 767 and the all-white Local 47.