Don Fagerquist

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Don Fagerquist
Birth nameDonald Alton Fagerquist
Born(1927-02-06)February 6, 1927
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedJanuary 23, 1974(1974-01-23) (aged 46)
Canoga Park, California, U.S.
Years active1940–1966

Donald Alton Fagerquist (February 6, 1927 – January 23, 1974)[1] was a small group, big band, and studio jazz trumpet player from the West Coast of the United States.


Fagerquist was a featured soloist with several major bands,[1] including Mal Hallett (1943), Gene Krupa (1944–50), Artie Shaw (1949–50), Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five (1949–50), Woody Herman (1951–52), Les Brown (1953), and the Dave Pell Octet (1953–59).[2] He played on the Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook album (1963) under the baton of Nelson Riddle.[3]

Despite high demand for his services as a lyrical soloist, he only recorded twice as a leader: a half-date for Capitol in 1955 (reissued as part of the Dave Pell Octet CD I Had the Craziest Dream) and a complete project for Mode in 1957 (Music to Fill a Void).[4]

In 1956, Fagerquist signed on as a staff musician for Paramount Films, while still periodically recording with artists such as Shelly Manne, Mel Tormé, and Art Pepper.[5] Throughout the early- to mid-1960s, Fagerquist's solos could be heard on the recordings of Pete Rugolo, Frank Comstock, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Paul Weston, Si Zentner, Dean Martin and many others.

By 1966, health issues forced Fagerquist to withdraw from studio recording altogether. He died from kidney disease at his home in Canoga Park, California, at the age of 46.[6]

Selected discography[edit]

With Chet Baker and Bud Shank

With Louis Bellson

With Hoagy Carmichael

With Bob Cooper

With Fred Katz

With Stan Kenton

With Junior Mance

With Dave Pell

  • Dave Pell Octet Plays Irving Berlin (Kapp, 1954)
  • Dave Pell Octet Plays Rodgers & Hart (Kapp, 1954)
  • Jazz & Romantic Places (Atlantic, 1955)
  • Jazz Goes Dancing (RCA, 1956)
  • I Had the Craziest Dream (Capitol Records, 1957)

With Shorty Rogers

With Pete Rugolo

With Mel Torme

  • Mel Torme Sings Fred Astaire (Bethlehem, 1956)
  • Mel Torme with the Marty Paich dek-tette (Bethlehem, 1956)
  • California Suite (Bethlehem, 1957)

With the Benny Goodman Orchestra & Brussels World's Fair Orchestra

  • Salute to Benny Goodman (Crown, 1958)

With Skip Martin's Scheherajazz

  • A Symphony in Jazz by the Video All-Stars (Stereo-Fidelity, 1959)


  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 141/2. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Jacques; Gilbert, Claude. "Jazz Trumpet Transcriptions". Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "Ella Fitzgerald – Sings The Jerome Kern Songbook (1963, Reel-To-Reel)". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Don Fagerquist | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Don Fagerquist Biography". Jazz History Database. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Yanow, Scott (2001). Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. Backbeat Books. p. 154. ISBN 978-0879306403.

External links[edit]