Cultural Percussionist

Cal Massey Day

Calvin “Cal” Massey (January 11, 1928 – October 25, 1972) was an American jazz trumpeter and composer.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Massey studied trumpet under Freddie Webster, and following this played in the big bands of Jay McShann, Jimmy Heath, and Billie Holiday. After that he mainly worked as a composer.

In the late 1950s he led an ensemble with Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner, and Tootie Heath; John Coltrane and Donald Byrd occasionally played with them. In the 1950s he gradually receded from active performance and concentrated on composition; his works were recorded by Coltrane, Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Lee Morgan, Philly Joe Jones, Horace Tapscott and Archie Shepp. Massey played and toured with Shepp from 1969 until 1972. He also performed in The Romas Orchestra with Romulus Franceschini.

Massey died from a heart attack at the age of 44 in New York City, New York. His son, Zane Massey (born 1957), is also a jazz musician.

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