Joseph Cabot

July 12, 1921March 7, 2016

Joe Cabot (born Joseph Claude Caputo), died on March 7, 2016 of natural causes, surrounded by family. He was 94 year old. Joe’s career as a trumpet player, bandleader and musical director spanned nearly 7 decades.

He was born in Cleveland, OH into a musical family led by his father Joseph and uncle August. His first performances took place locally while he was still a small boy, and in 1938 traveled the US with the Army Calvary Orchestra. By 1940, Joe was a sideman with Gene Krupa. Stints with the Dorsey’s, Claude Thornhill, and Artie Shaw followed.

Over the course of his career, Joe worked in every major music club in the United States, alongside such luminaries of the jazz world including Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldrige, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderly, Stan Getz and Harry James, to name just a few. He maintained a close relationship with James until his death in 1983, and they toured together from 1979–1982 in the musical review The Big Broadcast of 1944, when on closing night, James bestowed upon Joe his favorite trumpet in a symbolic “passing the torch” gesture. Joe is quoted extensively in Peter Levinson’s 1999 James’ biography, Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James.

Throughout the years, Joe backed hundreds of vocalists in studio and on-stage. Favorites included Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith, Anita O'Day, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darrin, with whom he played on many hit recordings, including two of Darrin’s biggest hits, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea.” A long-standing and kindred artistic collaboration was with Big Band singer Fran Warren. Their musical relationship yielded the 1969 album “Come Into My World,” countless US and European performances, and much-heralded stints at esteemed jazz rooms including Michael’s Pub, Zanzibar, and Smalls. Their friendship continued over 50 years, and was rich with music and laughter.

As a bandleader, Joe fronted at renowned venues including the Rainbow Room and Windows on the World, and for over 30 years performed on television as part of the Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy Telethons. As a player, he is best known for his responsive phrasing and mute-on/mute-off virtuosity. His original composition, "Slow Down, Sugar, Take Your Time," was praised by music critic John Wilson and likened to the stylings of the Nat Cole Trio in an Oct. 31, 1982 piece in the New York Times' Arts and Leisure section.

He is survived by loving and devoted wife Cindy Lord Cabot, beloved daughters Gina Cabot, Christina Cabot and sons-in-law Patrick Curran and Charles Conyers, Jr., cherished grandchildren Joe Finnerty, Tony Finnerty and Ravi Cabot-Conyers, and numerous adored nieces and nephews. Joe is predeceased by parents Joseph and Carmella Caputo, and siblings Sara Garmone, Tony Cabot, Mae Sadler and Charles Cabot.

A mass will be held for Joe at St. Anthony’s Church, 41 West Nyack Rd. West Nyack, NY at 10:00 am on Friday, March 11, 2016. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802, or United Hospice of Rockland.


  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, March 11, 2016


Joseph Cabot

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April 15, 2016

I will miss seeing him sitting on his front porch chair, a smile and wave as we passed his home. I will miss the sound of his trumpet on a warm summer night. I will always be grateful for the friendship and generosity of his time, the patience to sit with a school age child and listen to the squeaks of the newest music lesson..Thank you for being a friend to my family. You will be missed.

March 23, 2016

To my beloved Uncle Joe, You will be sorely missed. Love You!! Mary Lu

Joseph Cain

March 19, 2016

Joe was a great family friend and mentor!! It was truly an honor to know such a wonderful man with exemplary insight about life and an amazing heart!! We love Joe now and forever!!
Jay and Rosemary Cain (New York, NY)

Drew and Lori Conner

March 10, 2016

Cindy and family: Please accept our condolences on the Joe's passing. He was the first neighbor to welcome us to the street and was always so friendly. He would often stop his car in front of our house to say hello and offer words of praise and encouragement as we renovated our home. We always enjoyed our chats with him and with you too Cindy. You will be in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come.