Jon Faddis

Born July 24, 1953 (age 64)
Oakland, California, United States
Genres Bebop, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician

Jon Faddis (born July 24, 1953) 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, in 1953. At 18, he joined Lionel Hampton’s big band before joining the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra as lead trumpet. After playing with Charles Mingus in his early twenties, Faddis became a noted studio musician in New York City, appearing on many pop recordings in the late 1970s and early 1980s. One such recording was “Disco Inferno” with the Players Association in which he plays trumpet recorded in 1977 on the LP “Born to Dance”.

In the mid-1980s, he left the studios to continue to pursue his solo career, which resulted in albums such as Legacy, Into the Faddisphere and Hornucopia. As a result of his growth as a musician and individual artist, 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, 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.

Faddis also led the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars Big Band from their inception 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).

Faddis appeared in the 1998 movie Blues Brothers 2000. In the film, he plays trumpet with The Louisiana Gator Boys. Faddis is a first-call lead player in New York City and has an international reputation for his playing ability in the full range, particularly the highest registers, of the trumpet. His distinctive trumpet playing can be heard on themes including “Lil’ Bill”, “The Wiz”, and “Bird”, among others.

Alongside his playing career, Faddis is a noted educator for jazz and the trumpet, as well as a performing artist for Schilke Trumpets, manufactured in Melrose Park, Illinois. Faddis performs on a Schilke S-42L trumpet in gold-plate with slight modifications of his own design. He previously played a gold-plated B6L with the beryllium bell. His mouthpieces are custom-made by Scott Laskey, of Lombard, Illinois.

Family and personal life
Faddis has been a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.

Faddis is the uncle of Madlib and Oh No, acclaimed hip-hop producers


As leader

1974: Jon & Billy (Trio)
1976: Youngblood (Pablo)
1978: Good and Plenty (Buddah)
1985: Legacy (Concord Jazz)
1989: Into the Faddisphere (Epic)
1991: Hornucopia (Epic)
1995: The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (Blue Note)
1997: Swing Summit: Passing on the Torch
1997: Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall (Malposo/Warner Bros.)
1998: Remembrances (Chesky)
2006: Teranga (Koch)

As sideman

With George Benson

Big Boss Band (Warner Bros., 1990)
With Anthony Braxton

Creative Orchestra Music 1976 (Arista, 1976)
With Rusty Bryant

Until It’s Time for You to Go (Prestige, 1974)
With Kenny Burrell

Ellington Is Forever (Fantasy, 1975)
With Michel Camilo

One More Once
With Ron Carter

Parade (Milestone, 1979)
Empire Jazz (RSO, 1980)
With Hank Crawford

I Hear a Symphony (Kudu, 1975)
With Charles Earland

Intensity (Prestige, 1972)
Charles III (Prestige, 1973)
The Dynamite Brothers (Prestige, 1973)
Kharma (Prestige, 1974)
With Gil Evans

Live at the Public Theater (New York 1980) (Trio, 1981)
With Jerry Fielding

The Gauntlet (Soundtrack) (Warner Bros., 1977)
With Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie Jam (Pablo, 1977)
To Diz with Love (Telarc, 1992)
As Music Director for the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars

Dizzy’s 80th Birthday Party (1997)
Dizzy’s World (1999)
Things to Come (Telarc, 2000)
With Grant Green

The Main Attraction (1976)
Easy (1978)
With Johnny “Hammond” Smith

The Prophet (Kudu, 1972)
Higher Ground (Kudu, 1973)
With Billy Joel

An Innocent Man (Columbia, 1983)
With Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Big Band

Potpourri (Philadelphia International Records, 1974)
With Les McCann

Another Beginning (Atlantic, 1974)
With Jack McDuff

The Fourth Dimension (Cadet, 1974)
With Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert (Columbia, 1972)
With Mingus Dynasty

Live at the Theatre Boulogne-Billancourt/Paris, Vol. 1 (Soul Note, 1988)
Live at the Theatre Boulogne-Billancourt/Paris, Vol. 2 (Soul Note, 1988)
With Blue Mitchell

Many Shades of Blue (Mainstream, 1974)
With Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson & Jon Faddis (Pablo, 1975)
With Lalo Schifrin

Black Widow (CTI, 1976)
More Jazz Meets the Symphony (Atlantic, 1993)
Firebird: Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 3 (Four Winds, 1995)
Lalo Schifrin with WDR Big Band: Gillespiana (1996)
Latin Jazz Suite (1999)
Ins and Outs – Lalo Live at the Blue Note (2002)
With Don Sebesky

The Rape of El Morro (CTI, 1975)
With Paul Simon

Still Crazy After All These Years (uncredited) 1975
One Trick Pony 1980
Hearts and Bones (uncredited) 1983
Graceland (Warner Bros., 1986)
With Leon Spencer

Where I’m Coming From (Prestige, 1973)
With Jeremy Steig

Firefly (CTI, 1977)
With Gábor Szabó

Macho (Salvation, 1975)
With Charles Tolliver

Impact (Strata-East, 1975)
With Steve Turre

The Rhythm Within
With Stanley Turrentine

The Man with the Sad Face (Fantasy, 1976)
Nightwings (Fantasy, 1977)
With Cedar Walton

Beyond Mobius (RCA, 1976)
With Randy Weston

Tanjah (Polydor, 1973)
With Gerald Wilson

New York, New Sound (Mack Avenue, 2003)
In My Time (Mack Avenue, 2005)
Monterey Moods (Mack Avenue, 2007)
Detroit (Mack Avenue, 2009)
With Tatsuro Yamashita

Circus Town (1976)
Pocket Music (1986)
Boku No Naka No Syounen (1988)

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