Sal Cracchiolo, Trumpet


Salvator William Cracchiolo II was born in Long Beach, California as the son of two talented music teachers. His father, Sal Cracchiolo I, owned a music studio where he taught piano and played professional accordion. His mother, Edith, was his first trumpet teacher and started Sal on trumpet at the age of 12. He played in concert, marching and jazz band in high school. By his Junior and Senior year of High School, he was attending Cerritos College playing in their jazz and concert bands. He started working as a professional musician at 15 in nightclubs with various R&B and Latin bands. In 1977 he started a long musical relationship with Poncho Sanchez, which ultimately let to 18 albums. While working with Poncho, in the 1980s, he was a member of the Pasadena City College Big Band under the direction of saxophonist, Gary Foster. While in this band, Sal played with such jazz greats as Warren Marsh, Lee Konitz, and Peter Erskine.

​In the late-80s, Poncho started traveling internationally. Since then, with Poncho and other acts, Sal has traveled to 38 countries globally. With Poncho, he has played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Cal Tjader, Chick Corea, Stanley Turentine, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Clare Fischer, Gary Foster, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Harris, Joey DeFrancesco, Dianne Reeves, Justo Almario, Andy Martin and Celia Cruz. He performed for, and with, these artists at the Monterey, Playboy, Concord, and Nice Jazz Festivals plus many others throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Thailand and Japan.

He recorded on Bobby Shew’s, “Salsa Caliente” CD, in 1998. He has also done worldwide tours with such artists as Tom Jones, Vicki Carr, Brian Setzer, Michael Bolton and Harry Connick Jr. He performed with his own sextet featuring his wife, Melanie Jackson, on vocals. In 2001, their CD, “Fly”, was nominated for a Latin Grammy. In 2004 through 2006 the California Arts Council sponsored Sal and Melanie’s sextet.

He has toured and recorded with the Clayton/ Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has played with them since 2003. Downbeat Magazine rated the CHJO as the #1 Big Band in the USA in 2007. He has recorded John Clayton’s arrangements with members of the CHJO on CDs with Michael Buble, David Foster, Jamiroquoi, Rene Olstad, Paul Anka, Joss Stone, Charles Aznevour, Gladys Knight and Diana Krall.

Sal is a Yamaha artist and clinician.

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