BiographySan Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican valve trombonist, arranger and composer, musically educated by his uncle Manuel. Tizol moved to the U.S. in 1920 and first met Duke Ellington while playing trombone in the pit of the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.. After spells with Bobby Lee's Cottonpickers and the White Brothers Band, Tizol joined Ellington in 1929 and stayed with him until 1944. Though an excellent ensemble player, Tizol declared himself more comfortable with 'legit' music ("I don't feel the pop tunes, but I feel La Gioconda and La Boheme") and rarely, if ever, improvised. Read more... influence to Ellington's band, writing or co-writing such famous standards as 'Caravan', 'Perdido', 'Bakiff', 'Conga Brava', 'Luna de Cuba' and 'Zanzibar'. From 1944 to 1951, Tizol worked as a trombonist with the Harry James Orchestra, having set up permanent residence on South Hobart Boulevard in Los Angeles. He eventually returned to Ellington for another two years. Until his retirement in 1961 he confined himself to occasional studio recordings, notably with Nelson Riddle and Nat 'King' Cole.