July 12, 1927-December 14, 2001
It was the summer of 1943, before his junior year at the Mishawaka,
Indiana High School, that Secondo "Conte" Candoli first sat in with
Woody Herman's exuberant First Herd. After graduation in 1945, he joined
the band full-time where he sat side-by-side with the other Candoli, his
brother "Pete," in the trumpet section.
Conte immediately went on the road, where he stayed for the next ten
years, with Woody as well as with the legendary bands of 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, playing all the
top jazz rooms in the country. 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.
His Dizzy inspired playing brought him many performing and recording
opportunities with major jazz names and the top names in show business
-- Gerry Mulligan, Shelly Manne, Terry Gibbs, Teddy Edwards, Frank
Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan, to name only a
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 in 1972. He performed with the
group at the 1988 Wichita Jazz Festival.
Conte has played all over the world with Stan Kenton, his own group,
Gerry Mulligan, the Lighthouse All-Stars, and others. He has appeared in
many motion pictures with various orchestras and worked in all of Frank
Sinatra's TV specials. 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 Johnny Carson’s retirement in 1992, he traveled occasionally with
Doc Serverinsen, but still enjoyed his solo playing.
and Conte were inducted into "The International Jazz Hall of Fame" in 1997