Juan Tizol was born in San Juan Puerto Rico on Jan. 22, 1900, started music lessons early, was trained as a valve trombonist and as a teenager played in the San Juan Municipal Band. Tizol moved to the U.S. in 1920 and became valve trombonist in the pit band of the Howard Theatre in Washington DC, was a member of the Marie Lucas Orchestra, Bobby Lee’s Cottonpickers, and the White Brothers Band. His big break came in August of 1929 when he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
He would remain with Duke for fifteen years, and became an integral part of the bands sound. His contribution to the Duke legacy would be in his two compositions “Caravan”, and “Perdido”