two talented music teachers. His father, Sal Cracchiolo I, owned a music studio where he taught piano and played professional accordion. His mother, Edith, was his first trumpet teacher and started Sal on trumpet at the age of 12. Of his two trumpet teachers of note were the legendary trumpet educators Jimmy Stamp and Bobby Shew.
In 1975 he started a long musical friendship with Poncho Sanchez, which ultimately let to 18 albums. In the late-80s, Poncho started traveling internationally. With Poncho and other acts, Sal has traveled to 39 countries globally. He has played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Stanley Turentine, Eddie Harris, Chick Corea and Dianne Reeves. In addition, he has played on such movie soundtracks and traveled worldwide tours with such artists as Tom Jones, Vicki Carr, Brian Setzer and Harry Connick Jr.
He has also been performing with his own sextet featuring his wife, Melanie Jackson, on vocals. In 2001, their CD, Fly, was nominated for a Latin Grammy. In 2004 through 2006, the California Arts Council sponsored Sal and Melanie’s sextet.
He is currently with the Clayton/ Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has played with them since 2003. Downbeat Magazine has rated the CHJO as the #1 Big Band in the USA. He has since played on arrangements by John Clayton for artists Queen Latifah, Michael Buble, Gladys Knight, Charles Aznevour, John Pizzarelli, Joss Stone and Diana Krall. He has also recorded with Jamiroquoi, and Dr. Dre.
Sal was an artist-in-residence at Whittier College in Whittier, California from 2007 to 2010. Now he is the jazz trumpet artist-in-residence at the prestigious Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, California.
Sal is a Yamaha artist and clinician. He plays the Bobby Shew model Yamaha Z-Horn and the Z-Flugelhorn. He is a member of BMI and the Jazz Education Network.