Jazz Saxophonists in History

Birthdays in Music

  • 1902-01-23 Benny Waters, American jazz saxophonist & clarinetist, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1998)
  • 1904-03-27 Hal Kemp American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and sweet jazz bandleader, born in Marion, Alabama (d. 1940)
  • 1906-04-13 Lawrence "Bud" Freeman, American jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and composer ("The Eel"; "Zen Is When"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1991)
  • 1906-12-07 George James, American jazz saxophonist, born in Boggs, Oklahoma (d. 1995)
  • 1908-02-20 Seymour Österwall, Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1981)
  • 1909-08-27 Lester Young, American jazz saxophonist, born in Woodville, Mississippi (d. 1959)
  • 1912-02-13 Arthur "Schneeze" Rollini, American big band jazz tenor saxophonist, born in New York City (d. 1993)
  • 1912-05-12 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma (d. 1995)
  • 1912-10-21 Carlos Don Byas, US jazz saxophonist
  • 1913-02-22 George "Buddy" Tate, American jazz saxophonist, born in Sherman, Texas (d. 2001)
  • 1913-04-25 Earl Bostic, American jazz alto saxophonist (Flamingo, Temptation), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 1965)
  • 1916-04-09 Julian Dash, American swing jazz tenor saxophonist, and composer ("Tuxedo Junction"), born in Charleston, South Carolina (d. 1974)
  • 1916-07-27 Elbert Skippy Williams, American jazz tenor saxophonist and musical arranger, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (d. 1994)
  • 1916-12-02 Charlie Ventura, American jazz tenor saxophonist (Bop for the people), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • 1917-05-25 Jimmy Hamilton, American jazz saxophonist, born in Dillon, South Carolina (d. 1994)
  • 1920-08-29 Charlie "Bird" Parker, American jazz saxophonist (Ornithology), born in Kansas City, Kansas (d. 1955)
  • 1920-10-09 Yusef Lateef [William Huddleston], American jazz saxophonist and flautist, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (d. 2013)
  • 1921-02-13 Wardell Gray, American swing and bebop jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1955)
  • 1922-02-27 Jackie Kelso [John Joseph Kelson Jr], American jazz saxophonist and session musician, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • 1922-03-02 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), born in Culver City, California (d. 1986)
  • 1922-03-20 Larry Elgart, American big band jazz alto saxophonist, and bandleader ("Bandstand Boogie"; "Hooked On Swing"), born in New London, Connecticut (d. 2017)
  • 1922-10-31 Illinois Jacquet, American jazz saxophonist, born in Broussard, Louisiana (d. 2004)
  • 1923-02-27 Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist and actor (Round Midnight, The Other Side of Round Midnight), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1990)
  • 1924-02-02 Sonny Stitt [Edward Hammond Boatner Jr], American jazz saxophonist (Blows the Blues), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1982)
  • 1924-11-25 Paul Desmond, American jazz alto saxophonist (Dave Brubeck Quartet - "Take Five"), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1977)
  • 1925-03-21 Harold Ashby American jazz tenor saxophonist (Willie Dixon; Duke Ellington, 1968-75), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2003)
  • 1925-03-25 James Moody, American jazz saxophonist, flutist and orchestra leader
  • 1925-04-01 Kathy Stobart, British jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and teacher, born in South Shields, England (d. 2014)
  • 1925-10-29 John Haley "Zoot" Sims, American jazz saxophonist, born in Inglewood, California (d. 1985)
  • 1925-10-30 Teo Macero [Attilio Joseph Macero], American jazz saxophonist, composer and record producer (Miles Davis), born in Glens Falls, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1926-02-20 Bobby Jaspar, Belgian jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer, born in Liège, Belgium (d. 1963)
  • 1926-07-02 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), born in New Castle, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)

Person of interestJohn Coltrane

1926-09-23 John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist and composer (Blue Train), born in Hamlet, North Carolina (d. 1967)

Jazz Musician John Coltrane
Jazz Musician
John Coltrane
  • 1926-10-25 Jimmy Heath "Little Bird", American jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2020)
  • 1927-02-02 Stan Getz [Stanley Gayetski], American jazz tenor saxophonist (Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1991)
  • 1927-05-31 (James) "Red" Holloway, American jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Helena, Arkansas (d. 2012)
  • 1927-08-16 Dennis Moss, British jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Surrey, England (d. 2008)
  • 1927-10-13 Lee Konitz, American jazz saxophonist (Birth of the Cool), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)
  • 1927-10-23 William "Sonny" Criss, American bebop jazz saxophonist (Jazz U.S.A.), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1977)
  • 1928-04-24 Johnny Griffin III, American jazz saxophonist (A Blowin' Session), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2008)
  • 1928-05-29 Sandy Mosse, American jazz tenor saxophonist, and bandleader (Pieces of Eight), born in Detroit, Michigan, (d. 1983)
  • 1928-07-15 Joseph Arthurlin "Joe" Harriott, Jamaican-British be-bop and free-form jazz alto saxophonist (Abstract), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 1973)
  • 1928-09-15 Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the 1950-60s hard bop era (The Black Messiah), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 1975)
  • 1928-11-15 Seldon Powell, American jazz tenor saxophonist and flautist, born in Lawrenceville, Virginia (d. 1997)
  • 1928-12-25 Harry Klein, English jazz saxophonist, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 2010)
  • 1928-12-30 Jack Montrose, American "cool jazz" tenor saxophonist and arranger, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2006)
  • 1929-01-25 Benny Golson, American jazz tenor saxophonist, arranger, and composer ("I Remember Clifford"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1929-06-11 Lennie Niehaus, American jazz saxophonist and film composer (Clint Eastwood films), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2020)

Person of interestOrnette Coleman

1930-03-09 Ornette Coleman, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Downbeat Musician of Year 1966), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2015)

Jazz Composer Ornette Coleman
Jazz Composer
Ornette Coleman
  • 1930-07-07 Hank Mobley, US jazz saxophonist
  • 1930-09-07 Sonny Rollins, American jazz saxophonist (Blue Room), born in NYC, New York
  • 1930-10-08 (Park Frederick) "Pepper" Adams, American jazz saxophonist (Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band), born in Highland Park, Michigan
  • 1931-05-17 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2006)
  • 1931-11-02 Phil Woods, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu"; Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
  • 1931-12-31 Gil Mellé, American jazz saxophonist and composer, born in New York City (d. 2004)
  • 1932-04-17 Arthur "Art" Ellefson, Canadian jazz saxophonist, born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • 1933-08-25 Wayne Shorter, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Weather Report), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • 1934-03-30 Lanny Morgan, American West coast jazz and studio alto saxophonist (Maynard Ferguson), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1934-04-05 Stanley Turrentine, American jazz saxophonist (Wonderland), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2000)
  • 1935-05-05 Edward "Kidd" Jordan, American jazz saxophonist and music educator, born in Crowley, New Orleans
  • 1935-09-08 James Clay, American jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Dallas, Texas (d. 1995)
  • 1936-04-28 John Tchicai, Danish jazz saxophonist and composer (New York Art Quartet), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 2012)
  • 1936-05-12 Klaus Doldinger, German jazz saxophonist (Passport) and composer for film, born in Berlin, Germany
  • 1937-04-24 Joe Henderson, American jazz saxophonist, born in Lima, Ohio (d. 2001)
  • 1937-11-27 Robert "Bootsie" Barnes, American jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2020) [1]
  • 1937-12-16 Joe Farrell, American jazz saxophonist, born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, (d. 1986)
  • 1938-06-29 Edmund Falkiner, jazz saxophinist and probation officer (d. 1997)
  • 1939-05-19 (Cornelius) "Sonny" Fortune, American jazz saxophonist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1940-07-05 Arthur Blythe, American jazz saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2017)
  • 1940-10-13 Pharoah Sanders, American jazz saxophonist, born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • 1941-12-25 Ronnie Cuber, American jazz saxophonist, born in NYC, New York
  • 1942-09-14 Oliver Lake, American jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Marianna, Arkansas
  • 1943-12-12 Grover Washington Jr., American jazz saxophonist (Mr Magic), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1999)
  • 1944-07-24 Barbara Thompson, British jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Oxford, England
  • 1945-07-30 David Sanborn, American jazz saxophonist (David Letterman Show), born in Tampa, Florida
  • 1949-03-29 Michael Brecker, American jazz saxophonist (Brecker Brothers), born in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania (d. 2007)
  • 1952-05-05 Louis Cortelezzi, American rock and jazz saxophonist (Mink DeVille) and film composer (Pokemon), born in New Galilee, Pennsylvania
  • 1955-02-16 Jeff Clayton, American session and touring jazz saxophonist and composer (Groove Shop), born in Venice, California (d. 2020) [1]
  • 1956-06-05 Kenny G [Gorelick], American smooth jazz saxophonist (Duotones; Breathless), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1960-01-16 Richard Elliot, Scottish-born American jazz saxophonist (When a Man Loves a Woman cover), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1960-06-23 Donald Harrison, American jazz saxophonist, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1960-08-26 Branford Marsalis, American jazz, classical and funk saxophonist (Sting; Tonight Show, 1992-95), born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
  • 1963-03-27 Dave Koz, American jazz saxophonist, born in Encino, California
  • 1964-03-18 Courtney Pine, British jazz saxophonist
  • 1969-02-01 Joshua Redman, American jazz saxophonist, and composer, born in Berkeley, California
  • 1981-02-18 Kamasi Washington, American jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

1964-08-04 Jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (35) weds Alice Macleod

Jazz Musician John Coltrane
Jazz Musician
John Coltrane

Deaths in Music

  • 1940-12-21 Hal Kemp American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and sweet jazz bandleader, dies as a result of a car accident at 36
  • 1955-03-12 Charlie "Bird" Parker, American jazz saxophonist (Ornithology), dies pf pneumonia and bleeding ulcer at 34 in NYC
  • 1955-05-25 Wardell Gray, American swing and bebop jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 34
  • 1963-02-28 Bobby Jaspar, Belgian jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer dies of a heart attack at 37
  • 1965-10-28 Earl Bostic, American jazz alto saxophonist (Flamingo, Temptation), dies at 52

Person of interestJohn Coltrane

1967-07-17 John Coltrane, American jazz saxophonist & composer (Blue Train), dies of cancer at 40

Jazz Musician John Coltrane
Jazz Musician
John Coltrane
  • 1972-08-24 Carlos Wesley "Don" Byas, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 59
  • 1973-01-02 Joseph Arthurlin "Joe" Harriott, Jamaican-British be-bop and free-form jazz alto saxophonist (Abstract), dies of cancer at 44
  • 1974-02-25 Julian Dash, American swing jazz tenor saxophonist, and composer ("Tuxedo Junction"), dies at 67
  • 1974-08-06 Gene Ammons, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1925)
  • 1975-08-08 Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the 1950-60s hard bop era (The Black Messiah), dies of a stroke at 46
  • 1977-05-30 Paul Desmond, American jazz alto saxophonist (Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five), dies of lung cancer at 52
  • 1977-11-19 William "Sonny" Criss, American bebop jazz saxophonist (Jazz U.S.A.), commits suicide while suffering from stomach cancer at 50
  • 1981-08-03 Seymour Österwall, Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, dies at 73
  • 1982-06-15 Art Pepper, American jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist, dies of a stroke at 56
  • 1982-07-22 Sonny Stitt [Edward Hammond Boatner Jr], American jazz saxophonist (Blows the Blues), dies of cancer at 58
  • 1983-07-01 Sandy Mosse, American jazz tenor saxophonist, and bandleader (Pieces of Eight), dies at 54
  • 1986-01-10 Joe Farrell, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 48
  • 1986-05-30 Hank Mobley, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 55
  • 1986-11-03 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis [Edward F. Davis], American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), dies of cancer at 65
  • 1988-11-30 Charlie Rouse, American hard bop jazz tenor saxophonist (Thelonious Monk Quartet; Sphere), dies of lung cancer at 64
  • 1990-04-25 Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist and actor (Round Midnight, The Other Side of Round Midnight), dies of kidney failure at 67
  • 1991-05-15 Lawrence "Bud" Freeman, American jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and composer ("The Eel"; "Zen Is When"), dies of cancer at 84
  • 1991-06-06 Stan Getz [Stanley Gayetski], American jazz tenor saxophonist (Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey), dies of liver cancer at 64
  • 1992-01-17 Charlie Ventura, American jazz tenor saxophonist (Bop for the people), dies of cancer at 75
  • 1993-03-27 Clifford Jordan, American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies of cancer at 61
  • 1993-09-28 Fraser MacPherson, Canadian jazz saxophonist (b. 1928)
  • 1993-12-30 Arthur "Schneeze" Rollini, American big band jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 81
  • 1994-02-28 Elbert Skippy Williams, American jazz tenor saxophonist and musical arranger, dies at 77
  • 1994-09-05 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), dies at 68
  • 1994-09-20 Jimmy Hamilton, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 77
  • 1995-01-06 James Clay, American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 59
  • 1995-01-30 George James, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 88
  • 1995-05-09 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist & clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), dies at 82
  • 1997-01-25 Seldon Powell, American jazz tenor saxophonist and flautist, dies at 68
  • 1997-09-20 Edmund Falkiner, jazz saxophinist and probation officer, dies at 59
  • 1998-03-20 George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician
  • 1998-08-11 Benjamin "Benny" Waters, American jazz saxophonist and clarinetist, dies at 96
  • 1999-12-17 Grover Washington Jr., American jazz saxophonist (Mr Magic), dies at 56
  • 2000-09-12 Stanley Turrentine, American jazz saxophonist (Wonderland), dies at 66
  • 2001-02-10 George Holmes Tate, American jazz saxophonist and clarinetist (b. 1913)
  • 2001-06-30 Joe Henderson, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 64
  • 2003-06-13 Harold Ashby, American jazz tenor saxophonist (Willie Dixon; Duke Ellington, 1968-75), dies at 78
  • 2004-07-22 Illinois Jacquet, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 81
  • 2004-10-28 Gil Mellé, American jazz saxophonist and composer, dies at 72
  • 2006-02-07 Jack Montrose, American "cool jazz" tenor saxophonist and arranger, dies at 78
  • 2006-03-31 Jackie McLean, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1931 or 1932)
  • 2006-09-02 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, dies of liver failure at 75
  • 2007-01-13 Michael Brecker, American jazz saxophonist (Brecker Brothers), dies at 57
  • 2007-02-12 Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader (b. 1905)
  • 2008-02-19 Teo Macero [Attilio Joseph Macero], American jazz saxophonist, composer and record producer (Miles Davis), dies at 82
  • 2008-05-28 Dennis Moss, British jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 80
  • 2008-07-25 Johnny Griffin III, American jazz saxophonist (A Blowin' Session), dies of a heart attack at 80
  • 2012-02-25 Red Holloway [James], American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies from stroke and kidney failure at 84
  • 2012-04-28 Jackie Kelso [John Joseph Kelson Jr], American jazz saxophonist & session musician, dies at 90
  • 2012-10-07 John Tchicai, Danish jazz saxophonist and composer (New York Art Quartet), dies at 76
  • 2012-10-18 David Spencer Ware, American free jazz saxophonist, dies at 62
  • 2013-12-23 Yusef Lateef, American jazz saxophonist and flautist, dies at 93
  • 2014-07-06 Kathy Stobart, British jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and teacher, dies of a stroke at 89

Person of interestOrnette Coleman

2015-06-11 Ornette Coleman, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation), dies of a heart attack at 85

Jazz Composer Ornette Coleman
Jazz Composer
Ornette Coleman
  • 2015-09-29 Phil Woods, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu"; Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"), dies of emphysema at 83
  • 2017-03-27 Arthur Blythe, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 76
  • 2017-08-29 Larry Elgart, American big band jazz alto saxophonist, and bandleader ("Bandstand Boogie"; "Hooked On Swing"), dies at 95
  • 2018-10-25 Sonny Fortune [Cornelius Fortune], American jazz saxophonist, dies at 79
  • 2020-01-19 Jimmy Heath "Little Bird", American jazz saxophonist and composer, dies at 93
  • 2020-04-15 Lee Konitz, American jazz saxophonist (Birth of the Cool), dies of COVID-19 complications at 92
  • 2020-04-22 Robert "Bootsie" Barnes, American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies of Covid-19 at 82 [1]
  • 2020-05-28 Lennie Niehaus, American jazz saxophonist and film composer (Clint Eastwood films), dies at 90

Famous Jazz Musicians