03/05/12

Trumpeter Lou Colombo Dies at 84 in Florida Car Crash

A fixture on the Cape Cod jazz scene since 1950

Lou Colombo, a trumpeter who was a mainstay of Cape Cod, Mass., jazz scene for more than six decades, died March 4 in a car crash in Fort Myers, Fla. According to obituaries published in both states, Colombo, 84, was killed when he made a turn and his vehicle was struck by another.

Born and raised in Brockton, Mass., Colombo began playing trumpet in the 1940s, at age 12. He had hopes of playing professional baseball and was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers, but a broken ankle forced him to curtail that dream. He formed his own band in the ’50s and also toured with Buddy Morrow, Perez Prado, Dick Johnson and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He also played with Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong during his career.

Colombo, known for his one-handed trumpet style, also played flugelhorn, baritone horn and pocket trumpet. Most of his gigs were in Cape Cod and other Massachusetts locales. He also maintained a home in Florida. Colombo also taught.

Tom Reney blogs about the legacy of Columbo in his Jazz a la Mode column

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