The Kennedy Center

Jon Faddis


Jon Faddis, born in Oakland, California in 1953, met Dizzy Gillespie and in his teens sat in with his hero's combo at the famed Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. After his high school graduation, he joined Lionel Hampton's band as a featured soloist and moved to New York. Mr. Faddis also sat in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band on one of their regular Monday night sessions, a session that turned into four years of Monday nights playing with the band, as well as a tour of the Soviet Union He also toured with Charles Mingus and recorded on the Pablo label with Dizzy and Oscar Peterson. Other highlights included filling in (at age of 18) for an ailing Roy Eldridge in an all-star concert led by Charles Mingus at New York's Philharmonic Hall; a Carnegie Hall gig with Sarah Vaughan; two years at the Dick Gibson's Annual Colorado Jazz Party where he was featured in a historic duet with Eubie Blake; performances with Gil Evans' and Count Basie's big bands; appearances at Radio City Music Hall and festivals here and abroad. Mr. Faddis turned to studio work where he added his distinctive trumpet voice to albums by performers as disparate as Duke Ellington, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Kool and the Gang, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel and Stanley Clarke. His horn was heard on the theme of The Cosby Show, on the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood's films The Gauntlet and Bird, and many commercials. After appearing at the White House with Gillespie, he left studio life and began performing on the club scene with saxophonist Greg Osby and pianist James Williams. In 1987 Mr. Faddis organized and rehearsed the big band that would celebrate Gillespie's 70th birthday on tour here and abroad. He was a featured soloist and later assumed the same position as musical director of Dizzy's United Nation Orchestra, another international touring all-star group formed in 1989. He also served as musical director for the Carnegie Hall Centennial Jazz Band and continues as musical director of the 18-piece all-star Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. Mr. Faddis was music director of the 1995 Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's "The Majesty of Louis Armstrong Tour" and the "Newport Jazz Festival 40th Anniversary Tour." Jon Faddis' discography includes the following albums as a leader under his own name: Hornucopia and Into the Faddisphere, both on Epic; Legacy (Concord Jazz); Youngblood (Pablo); and Good and Plenty (Buddha). He was co-billed with Oscar Peterson on Oscar Peterson & Jon Faddis (Pablo); with saxophonist Billy Harper on Jon & Billy and with Clark Terry on Take Double (Phonogram/Japan). He is a featured sideman and soloist on Charles Mingus & Friends (Columbia); Milt Jackson's Bebop (Atlantic); the Illinois Jacquet Big Band's Jacquet's Got It (Atlantic); and Dizzy Gillespie's Montreux (Pablo).

April 2004
Jon Faddis