Cal Collins


musical style: 

photograph of Cal Collins

Cal Collins (b. 5/5/33, d. 8/27/01) was renowned as a sophisticated guitarist on the Cincinnati jazz scene, but was no high brow and dabbled in many music styles. He came about this eclectic bearing by growing up on a farm in Inidiana during the 1930's (Lonnie Mack was a childhood friend), where his first instrument to be played professionally was the mandolin. Exposure to Django Reinhardt led him to pick up the guitar (on which he was self taught, just like mandolin) and over time his livlehood migrated to playing jazz clubs around Cincinnati.

Some degree of national prominence came about when Benny Goodman hired Cal for his big band in 1976. Cal toured with the King of Swing for five years and developed a relationship with Concord Records, where he recorded multiple solo albums and served as house guitarist, backing the likes of Rosemary Clooney and many others.

Reinforcing his love of a broad array of styles, Cal toured nationally in 1993 with Doc Watson + Jerry Douglas. The following year he participated in a tribute recording to Wes Montgomery, perhaps Indiana's most well known jazz guitarist.

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Gear used by Cal Collins

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