Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman looks at a Texan who drew from Hispanic, Anglo and African-American influences to become one of the most well-respected jazz musicians of the 1940s and 1950s.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you.
And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.
- Click the player to listen to the podcast:
- Expanded online version:
Ernesto “Ernie” Caceres was born in Rockport, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1911. As a young man, he performed in San Antonio and throughout South Texas with his brother, Emilio Caceres, and his cousin, Johnny Gomez. The trio’s popularity earned the group an appearance on the Benny Goodman radio show in 1937. Soon, Ernie Caceres began playing the saxophone with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. Following a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, Caceres went on to play with Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars. Drawing from a broad range of musical influences, including Mexican-American, African-American and Anglo-American, Ernesto Caceres joined the many other talented artists from the Lone Star State who helped shape jazz music during the 20th century.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a Texan who was born the son of a former slave but went on to become one of the most popular and influential songwriters in American history.