Was born in St. Louis Missouri and attended Vashon High School. He played with well known jazz artists of the tie such as Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones. He became s world renound swing,bop, and jazz trumpeter after gaining a reputation playing with the people above. In 1991 he recieved a National Endowmwents of the Arts from the Jazz Hall of Fame. He has recieved countless other awards and has played at the WHite house.