Jon Faddis

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Jon Faddis
Faddis performing in 2007
Background information
Born (1953-07-24) July 24, 1953 (age 70)
Oakland, California, United States
GenresBebop, jazz
Instrument(s)Trumpet, flugelhorn
Years active1971–present

Jon Faddis (born July 24, 1953)[1] is an American jazz trumpet player, conductor, composer, and educator, renowned for both his playing and for his expertise in the field of music education. Upon his first appearance on the scene, he became known for his ability to closely mirror the sound of trumpet icon Dizzy Gillespie, who was his mentor along with pianist Stan Kenton and trumpeter Bill Catalano.


Jon Faddis was born in Oakland, California, United States.[1] At 18, he joined Lionel Hampton's big band before joining the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra as lead trumpet.[1] After playing with Charles Mingus in his early twenties,[1] Faddis became a noted studio musician in New York City, appearing on many pop recordings in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[1]

One such recording was the Players Association's cover of "Disco Inferno", from their LP Born to Dance (1977), on which he plays trumpet.[2] In the mid-1980s, he left the studios to continue to pursue his solo career, which resulted in albums such as Legacy (1985), Into the Faddisphere (1989) and Hornucopia (1991).[3] He became the director and main trumpet soloist of the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band and Dizzy's United Nation Orchestra.

From 1992 to 2002, Faddis led the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (CHJB) at Carnegie Hall,[4] conducting more than 40 concerts in ten years, during which time the CHJB presented over 135 musicians, featured over 70 guest artists, and premiered works by over 35 composers and arrangers at Carnegie Hall.

In 1997, Faddis composed the jazz opera Lulu Noire, which was presented at USA in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia.

Faddis appeared in the 1998 movie Blues Brothers 2000, playing trumpet with the Louisiana Gator Boys.

In 1999, Faddis released the Grammy Award-nominated Remembrances (Chesky Records), which was composed almost entirely of ballads and featured work from Argentinian composer/arranger Carlos Franzetti.[5]

Faddis also led the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars Big Band from their inception in 1998[6] through 2004, when he was appointed artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE), based at Columbia College Chicago in Illinois. Faddis led the CJE from autumn 2004 though spring 2010, premiering significant new works, pioneering educational initiatives in Chicago public schools focusing on Louis Armstrong's music, and bringing the CJE into new venues (including presenting the first of the "Made in Chicago" Jazz series at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park), while concurrently leading the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York (the successor to the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band).

In 2006, the Jon Faddis Quartet released the CD Teranga (Koch Records, now E1),[4] featuring guests including Clark Terry, Russell Malone, Gary Smulyan, and Frank Wess.

As of May 2010, Faddis leads the JFJONY, while continuing also to lead the Jon Faddis Quartet and the JFQ+2. The JFJONY headlined The Kennedy Center's New Year's Eve performance in December 2010 (available as a podcast on NPR's JazzSet); the JFJONY has also performed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Performing Arts Center in Westchester, New York, the Newport Jazz Festival and other venues.

Faddis is also a noted educator for jazz and the trumpet. Faddis has taught – and continues to teach – at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College-SUNY, in Westchester, New York, where he teaches trumpet, classes, and an ensemble. He also leads master classes, clinics and workshops around the world, often bringing students to his gigs and allowing them to sit in, and has produced a number of CDs for up-and-coming musicians.

In July 2011, he played a tribute to Miles Davis at the Prague Castle, hosted by the Czech President, Václav Klaus, accompanied by Lenny White on drums, Jaroslav Jakubovič on baritone saxophone, Tom Barney on bass and Emil Viklický on piano.[7]

Faddis is a Schilke Performing Artist,[8] performing on the Schilke "Faddis" model trumpet.[9] He has played Schilke instruments since 1970, encompassing nearly his entire career and complete discography.

Family and personal life[edit]

Faddis has been a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.[10]

Faddis is the uncle of Madlib[11] and Oh No, acclaimed hip-hop producers.[12]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Peter Allen

With Patti Austin

With George Benson

With Anthony Braxton

With Rusty Bryant

With Kenny Burrell

With Michel Camilo

With Ron Carter

With Eric Clapton

With Linda Clifford

  • I'll Keep on Lovin' You (Capitol, 1982)

With Hank Crawford

With Bo Diddley

With Charles Earland

With Gil Evans

With Jerry Fielding

With Aretha Franklin

With Michael Franks

With Dizzy Gillespie

As Music Director for the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars

  • Dizzy's 80th Birthday Party (Shanachie, 1997)
  • Dizzy's World (Shanachie, 1999)
  • Things to Come (Telarc/McG Jazz, 2002)

With Grant Green

With Groove Holmes

With Milt Jackson

With Mick Jagger

With Billy Joel

With the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Big Band

With Chaka Khan

  • Destiny (Warner Bros. Records, 1986)

With Julian Lennon

With O'Donel Levy

With Les McCann

With Jack McDuff

With Jimmy McGriff

With Bette Midler

With Charles Mingus

With Mingus Dynasty

With Blue Mitchell

With David "Fathead" Newman

With Jimmy Owens

With Jaco Pastorius

  • Invitation (Warner Bros., 1983)

With Oscar Peterson

With Lou Reed

With Lalo Schifrin

With Don Sebesky

With Marlena Shaw

  • Take a Bite (Columbia, 1979)

With Carly Simon

With Paul Simon

With Johnny "Hammond" Smith

With Lonnie Liston Smith

With Phoebe Snow

With Leon Spencer

With Candi Staton

  • Candi Staton (Warner Bros., 1980)

With Jeremy Steig

With Gábor Szabó

With Charles Tolliver

With Tina Turner

With Steve Turre

With Stanley Turrentine

With Frankie Valli

With Cedar Walton

With Randy Weston

With Gerald Wilson

With Tatsuro Yamashita

  • Circus Town (RCA, 1976)
  • Pocket Music (Moon, 1986)
  • Boku No Naka No Syounen (Moon, 1988)


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ "Born to Dance - The Players Association | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Jon Faddis | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Jon Faddis Biography, Songs & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Jon Faddis - Remembrances Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (June 1, 2002). "Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band: Things to Come album review". All About Jazz. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  7. ^ Summertime on YouTube
  8. ^ "Jon Faddis, Schilke Performing Artist". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Schilke "Faddis" Model Bb Trumpet". Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  10. ^ LaGorce, Tammy (January 9, 2016). "Dorthaan Kirk Is Newark's First Lady of Jazz". The New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2017. Mr. Faddis, of Teaneck, played in Lionel Hampton's band and is a Dizzy Gillespie sound-alike; he is the former director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.
  11. ^ "Madlib | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  12. ^ "Oh No | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.

External links[edit]