Arkansas State University


Tom Moore
Sara McNeil

(870) 972-3056
fax (870) 972-3069

More information:

Links to News Releases
& Announcements

Campus Calendar
Public activities at ASU

Campus News
Faculty and Staff

About ASU
Overview, history
and more

Lecture-Concert Series presents multiple reedsman Buddy Collette Oct. 15

Sept. 28, 2007 -
- Arkansas State University in Jonesboro presents illustrious multi-reedsman Buddy Collette on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Reng Student Services Center/ Student Union Auditorium as the third event of the 2007-2008 Lecture-Concert Series, “Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society.”  Buddy Collette, an American tenor saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist, has been highly influential on the West Coast music scene since the early 1940s and has performed with innumerable legendary American musicians.

At age 12, Collette, an alto saxophone player, led his first group, which included Charles Mingus. Trombonist Britt Woodman and saxophonist Dexter Gordon were among Collette’s youthful acquaintances. He began his professional career at age 17 and went on to study at the
California Academy of Music, the American Operatic Laboratory, and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. During World War II, Collette was a U.S. Navy band leader and performed with many swing stars of the era. He has performed in the orchestras of Louis Jordan, Benny Carter, and Gerald Wilson, playing flute, clarinet, and alto and tenor saxophones.

Collette’s musical accomplishments are eclipsed only by his social importance; working as a studio musician in the 1950s, he was the first black musician to play in a television studio orchestra. He later became a political and cultural activist, battling segregation in the music industry. He is the recipient of the 2002 Power of One Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Cultural Achievement (presented by Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan), and the Achievement Award for Cultural Achievement (presented by Watts Health Charities) in 1999.

In 1955, Collette became a founding member of the first of drummer Chico Hamilton's legendary quintets. The popular chamber jazz group included guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and cellist Fred Katz. A year later, Collette recorded his first album as a bandleader, “Man of Many Parts.” Collette was also well-known as an educator, and he numbered among his students  renowned musicians as Eric Dolphy, Charles Lloyd, Frank Morgan, Sonny Criss, and James Newton.

In 1996, the Library of Congress commissioned Collette to write and perform a special big band concert to highlight his long career. Collette no longer performs, due to a stroke he suffered in 1998, but he remains active in jazz education, having founded numerous programs for kids in the Los Angeles area. He is also the author of an autobiography, “Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society,” (Continuum Books, 2000) written with Steven Louis Isoardi.

A concert of the works of Buddy Collette will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center. The concert will feature John Stephens, multiple reed performer and arranger of Collette compositions, along with the ASU Jazz Band. This concert, like the Lecture-Concert Series appearance of Buddy Collette, is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity at ASU.

For more details, please contact Dr. Gil Fowler, associate dean for the Honors College, at (870) 972-2308 or via e-mail at, or visit The Lecture-Concert Series presents diverse programs to enrich the cultural life of the campus, community, and region.

 # # #


NewsPage:  |  Back to TOP  |