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Trumpeter Jules Chaikin dies at 78

Was music contractor for Grammys, Greek Theater

Jules Chaikin, lead trumpet with the big bands of Stan Kenton and Les Brown, studio musician, music contractor and contributor to film scores, died of heart failure on Nov. 23 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He was 78.

Chaikin played lead trumpet for Kenton, Brown as well as Jerry Gray, Ray Anthony, Gerald Wilson and Burt Bacharach.

As a studio musician, he participated in recording sessions with the Jefferson Airplane, the Carpenters, Kris Kristoferson, Paul Anka, Chicago, the Turtles, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Kenny Rogers, Lou Rawls, Manhattan Transfer, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson and Johnny Mathis.

Chaikin was also a music contractor, hiring musicians for recording artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Julio Iglesias, Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Michael Feinstein, Michael Buble and Diana Krall. He was the house contractor for the Greek Theater, the Universal Amphitheater and the Pantages Theater.

In addition, his work with composers such as Johnny Mandel, David Foster, Jeremy Lubbock, Ian Freebairn-Smith and John Williams expanded his career into film projects including “Phantom of the Paradise,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Badlands,” “The Rose,” “A Star Is Born,” “Bugsy Malone,” “Roxanne,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars.”

Chaikin’s television credits include a 20-year run as the music contractor of the Grammy Awards as well as the BET Awards and the Latin Grammys and TV specials with Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart.

Jules Chaikin was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles. He began his trumpet studies at age 11 at the L.A. Music and Art School in East Los Angeles under the guidance of Robert Webb and later with trumpeter Jimmy Stamp. He later attended L.A. City College.

Chaikin was the national secretary/treasurer of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Judy Chaikin; a son and a daughter; and three grandchildren.

A memorial will be held Dec. 17 at 2 p.m., at the Musician’s Union, 817 N. Vine St., Hollywood. A trumpet scholarship has been set up in Chaikin’s honor at the L.A. Music and Arts School.

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