b. 3 May 1926, Wartrace, Tennessee, USA. By the time he joined Lionel Hampton in 1950 Cleveland was already a highly-experienced trombonist, having worked with a band formed by his musical family and in the orchestra of Tennessee State University. With Hampton he played with surging power, a wonderfully rich and warm tone and great blues feeling. A brilliant technician, his playing always has great authority and his prowess makes him a much sought-after studio and session musician. After his time with Hampton he played with numerous other big bands, mostly those gathered for one-off recording dates or club and concert engagements. Among the leaders with whom he has performed are Gerry Mulligan, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson, Bill Berry and Gerald Wilson.