Caceres, Ernesto (1911–1971)

By: Dave Oliphant

Type: Biography

Published: November 27, 2006

Updated: July 27, 2016

Multi-instrumentalist Ernesto Caceres was born in Rockport, Texas, on November 22, 1911. He studied clarinet from an early age and worked with local bands beginning in 1928. In a family trio led by his elder brother, violinist Emilio Caceres, and including a cousin, Johnny Gomez, on guitar, he performed in San Antonio and appeared on the Benny Goodman Camel Caravan radio show in 1937. The trio subsequently recorded six sides called "splendid" by critic Gunther Schuller.

Ernesto became a member of the Jack Teagarden Orchestra in 1939, and in 1940 he joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with which he remained until 1942, performing solos on alto saxophone and forming part of the famous Miller saxophone sound. Ernesto was with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1943 and the Benny Goodman and Woody Herman orchestras in 1944, before serving in the United States Army until 1945. He played with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars in 1947 and led his own quartet at the Hickory Log in New York in 1949. Between 1950 and 1956 Ernesto worked regularly with the orchestra of the Garry Moore television show. He also worked with the bands of Bobby Hackett and Billy Butterfield before moving back to San Antonio. He died there on January 10, 1971, and was buried in Sunset Memorial Park.

β€œAll In a Texas Family: The Jazz Legacy of Emilio and Ernie Caceres,” Program: 28, The Jim Cullum Riverwalk Jazz Collection, Stanford University Libraries (, accessed October 17, 2015. John Chilton, Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing Street (London: Bloomsbury Book Shop, 1970; American ed., New York and Philadelphia: Chilton, 1972; 4th ed., New York: Da Capo Press, 1985). Roger D. Kinkle, The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz: 1900–1950 (4 vols., New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1974). Gunther Schuller, The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).

  • Music
  • Genres (Jazz)
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Dave Oliphant, “Caceres, Ernesto,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

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November 27, 2006
July 27, 2016

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