Famous Saxophonists in History

Events in Music

  • 1846-06-28 Saxophone is patented by Antoine-Joseph "Adolfe" Sax

Birthdays in Music

  • 1814-11-06 Adolphe Sax, Belgium musician and inventor (saxophone), born in Dinant, Belgium (d. 1894)
  • 1897-05-14 Sidney Bechet, American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and band leader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1959)
  • 1901-02-16 Wayne King, Savannah Ill, saxophonist/bandleader (Waltz King)
  • 1902-01-23 Benny Waters, American jazz saxophonist & clarinetist, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1998)
  • 1902-06-06 Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader, born in Fulton, Mississippi (d. 1947)
  • 1904-11-21 Coleman Hawkins, American jazz musician who virtually created tenor saxophone for jazz, born in St. Joseph, Missouri (d. 1969)
  • 1906-04-13 Bud Freeman, American jazz musician and tenor saxophonist (Eel), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1991)
  • 1906-12-07 George James, American jazz saxophonist, born in Boggs, Oklahoma (d. 1995)
  • 1906-12-09 Freddy Martin, American orchestra leader (started Merv Griffin) and tenor saxophonist, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1983)
  • 1907-03-28 Herb Hall, American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist (d. 1996)
  • 1907-07-25 Johnny Hodges, American saxophonist, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1970)
  • 1909-03-27 Ben Webster, American tenor saxophonist, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1973)
  • 1909-08-27 Lester Young, American jazz saxophonist, born in Woodville, Mississippi (d. 1959)
  • 1909-10-04 Noel Chiboust, French jazz trumpeter and saxophonist, born in Thorigny-sur-Marne, France (d. 1994)
  • 1912-05-12 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma (d. 1995)
  • 1912-06-19 Jerry Jerome, American saxophonist (Words & Music), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1912-10-21 Carlos Don Byas, US jazz saxophonist
  • 1913-01-10 Haywood Frank Henry, American jazz baritone saxophonist, born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1994)
  • 1913-02-22 "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)
  • 1914-02-12 Gordon "Tex" Beneke, American saxophonist/bandleader/vocalist (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Fort Worth, Texas; (d. 2000)
  • 1914-07-01 Earle Warren, American alto sax player, born in Springfield, Ohio (d. 1994)
  • 1914-12-29 Billy [Dorothy] Tipton, American jazz pianist/saxophonist/bandleader, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1989)
  • 1916-07-27 Elbert Skippy Williams, American jazz tenor saxophonist and musical arranger, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (d. 1994)
  • 1917-01-22 Albert "Pud" Brown, clarinetist/saxophonist
  • 1917-05-25 Jimmy Hamilton, American jazz saxophonist, born in Dillon, South Carolina (d. 1994)
  • 1918-08-17 Ike Quebec, American tenor-saxophone player, born in Newark. New Jersey (d. 1963)
  • 1920-03-08 James Daniel "Danny" Turner, saxophonist
  • 1920-08-29 Charlie "Bird" Parker, American jazz saxophonist, born in Kansas City, Kansas (d. 1955)
  • 1920-10-09 Yusef Lateef, American jazz saxophonist and flautist, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (d. 2013)
  • 1922-01-04 Frank Wess, flutist/saxophonist/composer, (d. 2013)
  • 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 [Edward F. Davis], American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), born in Culver City, California (d. 1986)
  • 1922-03-20 Larry Elgart, bandleader/alto sax (Elgart Orchestra), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 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)
  • 1923-06-02 Del Simmons [James Joseph Simonian], American saxophonist (Captain Beefheart) (d. 2011)
  • 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)
  • 1925-03-25 James Moody, American jazz saxophonist/flutist/orchestra leader
  • 1925-09-01 Art Pepper, American alto saxophonist and clarinetist, born in Gardena, California (d. 1982)
  • 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)
  • 1926-07-02 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), born in New Castle, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • 1926-07-02 Lee Allen, American tenor sax player (Walkin' With Mr Lee), born in Pittsburg, Kansas (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)
  • 1927-01-11 Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair, saxophonist
  • 1927-02-02 Stan Getz [Stanley Gayetski], American jazz tenor saxophonist (Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1991)
  • 1927-04-06 Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist and orchestra leader (Jazz on a Summer Day), born in Queens, New York (d. 1996)
  • 1927-04-29 Big Jay [Cecil James] McNeely, American R&B saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2018)
  • 1927-05-31 Red Holloway [James], Helena, Arkansas, jazz tenor saxophonist, (d. 2012)
  • 1927-06-03 [Homer] Boots Randolph, American saxophonist (Yakety Sax), born in Paducah, Kentucky (d. 2007)
  • 1927-08-16 Dennis Moss, British jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Surrey, England
  • 1927-10-13 Lee Konitz, American jazz saxophonist (Birth of the Cool), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)
  • 1927-11-22 Grady "Fats" Jackson, tenor sax player
  • 1928-04-24 Johnny Griffin III, American jazz saxophonist (A Blowin' Session), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2008)
  • 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)
  • 1928-12-25 Harry Klein, English jazz saxophonist, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 2010)
  • 1929-02-25 Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (Tonight Show), born in Portsmouth, Virginia (d. 2007)
  • 1929-06-11 Lennie Niehaus, American jazz saxophonist and film composer (Clint Eastwood films), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2020)
  • 1929-08-06 Mike Elliott, saxophonist, born in Jamaica, West Indies
  • 1929-12-03 Clarence Ford, American sax player, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1994)

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
  • 1930-10-14 Robert Parker, American saxophonist and soul singer (Barefootin'), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2020)
  • 1930-10-31 Booker Ervin [Booker Telleferro Ervin II], American saxophonist (Charles Mingus), born in Denison, Texas (d. 1970)
  • 1930-11-14 Jay Migliori, saxophonist (Supersax), born in Erie, Pennsylvania (d. 2001)
  • 1931-05-17 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2006)
  • 1931-09-28 John E Gilmore, tenor Saxophonist
  • 1931-11-02 Phil Woods, American Jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
  • 1932-04-17 Arthur "Art" Ellefson, Canadian jazz saxophonist, born in Moose Jaw, Canada
  • 1932-06-07 Tina Brooks, American blues and funk saxophonist (True Blue), born in Fayetteville, North Carolina (d. 1974)
  • 1933-04-29 Raymond Hill, American tenor saxophonist (Kings of Rhythm), born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 1996)
  • 1933-12-14 Leo Wright, American saxophonist (I left my heart in San Francisco), born in Wichita Falls, Texas (d. 1991)
  • 1934-02-07 King Curtis [Curtis Ousley], American musician, bandleader and saxophonist (Memphis Soul Stew), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 1971)
  • 1934-03-30 Lanny Morgan, American jazz alto saxophonist, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1934-04-05 Stanley Turrentine, American jazz saxophonist (Wonderland), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2000)
  • 1934-05-05 John "Ace" Cannon, American pop, rock and country music saxophonist (Tuff Sax), born in Grenada, Mississippi (d. 2018)
  • 1934-09-26 Dick Heckstall-Smith, English jazz-blues saxophonist, born in Ludlow, Shropshire (d. 2004)
  • 1934-10-20 Eddie Harris, saxophonist/composer
  • 1934-12-21 [Bernie Ross] Hank Crawford, American saxophonist, arranger and songwriter (Help Me Make It Through the Night), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 2009)
  • 1935-05-05 Edward "Kidd" Jordan, American jazz saxophonist and music educator, born in Crowley, New Orleans
  • 1935-07-11 Frederick Hemke, American classical saxophonist and educator, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2019)
  • 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, born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 2012)
  • 1936-05-12 Klaus Doldinger, German jazz saxophonist (Passport) and composer for film, born in Berlin
  • 1937-04-24 Joe Henderson, American jazz saxophonist, born in Lima, Ohio (d. 2001)
  • 1937-12-16 Joe Farrell, American jazz saxophonist, born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, (d. 1986)
  • 1938-01-24 Julius Arthur Hemphill, American saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1938-07-18 Dudu Pukwana [Mtutuzel], South African saxophonist and composer, born in Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (d. 1990)
  • 1939-01-23 Ray Elliott, Irish rock pianist & saxophonist (Them), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1939-05-19 Sonny Fortune [Cornelius Fortune], American jazz saxophonist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1939-06-02 Charles Miller, rock flutist/saxophonist (War)
  • 1939-12-28 Charles Neville, American vocalist and saxophonist (Neville Brothers), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2018)
  • 1940-04-06 Donald Myrick, American saxophonist ("If Leaving Me Is Easy, One More Night), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1993)
  • 1940-05-09 Dick Morrissey, saxophonist
  • 1940-05-28 Hans Dulfer, tenor saxophonist/director (Paradiso)

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

1946-03-30 Actress Doris Day (23) weds saxophonist George Weidler

Singer and Actress Doris Day
Singer and Actress
Doris Day

LoveWedding of Interest

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

Jazz Musician John Coltrane
Jazz Musician
John Coltrane

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

1949-05-31 Actress Doris Day (27) divorces saxophonist George Weidler (23) after 3 years of marriage

Singer and Actress Doris Day
Singer and Actress
Doris Day

Deaths in Music

  • 1865-04-26 Charles J Sax, Belgium musician & father of Adolphe Sax inventor of the saxophone, dies at 74
  • 1894-02-04 Adolphe Sax, Belgium musician and inventor (saxophone), dies at 79
  • 1947-07-12 Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader, dies at 45
  • 1955-03-12 Charlie "Bird" Parker, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 34 in NYC
  • 1959-05-14 Sidney Bechet, Americanjazz clarinetist, saxophonist and bandleader, dies at 62
  • 1963-01-16 Ike Quebec, American tenor-saxophone player, dies of cancer at 44
  • 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
  • 1969-05-19 Coleman Hawkins, American jazz musician who virtually created tenor saxophone for jazz, dies at 64
  • 1970-05-11 Johnny Hodges, American saxophonist, dies at 62
  • 1970-07-31 Booker Ervin [Booker Telleferro Ervin II], American saxophonist (Charles Mingus), dies of kidney disease at 39
  • 1971-08-13 King Curtis [Curtis Ousley], American musician, bandleader and saxophonist (Memphis Soul Stew), murdered at 37
  • 1972-08-13 Tina Brooks, American blues and funk saxophonist (True Blue), dies of liver failure at 42
  • 1972-08-24 Carlos Wesley "Don" Byas, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 59
  • 1973-09-20 Ben Webster, American tenor saxophonist, dies at 64
  • 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
  • 1982-06-15 Art Pepper, American 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
  • 1983-09-30 Freddy Martin, American orchestra leader (started Merv Griffin) and tenor saxophonist, dies at 76
  • 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
  • 1989-01-21 Billy [Dorothy] Tipton, American jazz pianist/saxophonist/bandleader, dies at 74
  • 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
  • 1990-06-30 Dudu Pukwana [Mtutuzel], South African saxophonist and composer, dies at 51
  • 1990-11-18 Peter Schilperoort, saxophonist/clarinetist, dies
  • 1991-01-04 Leo Wright, American saxophonist (I Left My Heart in San Francisco), dies at 57
  • 1991-05-15 Bud Freeman, American jazz musician and tenor saxophonist (Eel), 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
  • 1991-09-04 Charlie Barnet, saxophonist (Cherokee), dies of pneumonia at 77
  • 1992-01-17 Charlie Ventura, jazz sax (Bop for the people), dies at 75 of cancer
  • 1992-11-14 George Adams, US tenor saxophonist/flautist (Changes One), dies
  • 1993-03-27 Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophonist, dies of cancer at 61
  • 1993-07-30 Donald Myrick, American saxophonist ("If Leaving Me Is Easy, One More Night), is fatally shot by police during a narcotics investigation at 53
  • 1993-09-28 Fraser MacPherson, Canadian jazz saxophonist (b. 1928)
  • 1994-01-17 Grady "Fats" Jackson, tenor Sax Player, dies at 66
  • 1994-01-17 Noel Chiboust, French jazz trumpeter and saxophonist, dies at 84
  • 1994-02-28 Elbert Skippy Williams, American jazz tenor saxophonist and musical arranger, dies at 77
  • 1994-06-04 Earle Warren, American alto sax player, dies at 79
  • 1994-07-11 Charles "Lefty" Edwards, saxophonist, dies at 67
  • 1994-08-09 Clarence Ford, American sax player, dies at 64
  • 1994-09-05 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), dies at 68
  • 1994-09-15 Haywood Frank Henry, sax player, dies at 81
  • 1994-09-20 Jimmy Hamilton, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 77
  • 1994-10-18 Lee Allen, American tenor sax player (Walkin' With Mr Lee), dies of cancer at 68
  • 1994-11-23 Eldero L D Williams, tenor saxophonist, dies at 70
  • 1995-01-06 James Clay, American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 59
  • 1995-01-30 George James, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 88
  • 1995-02-13 Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair, saxophonist, dies at 68
  • 1995-04-02 Julius Arthur Hemphill, saxophonist, dies at 57
  • 1995-04-14 James Daniel "Danny" Turner, saxophonist, dies at 75
  • 1995-05-09 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist & clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), dies at 82
  • 1995-06-23 Jack Schroer, British saxophonist & pianist (The Caledonia Soul Orchestra), dies at 51
  • 1995-07-21 Edwin "Russell" House, saxophonist, dies at 65
  • 1995-08-20 John E Gilmore, tenor Saxophonist, dies at 63
  • 1995-11-23 Junior Walker, American tenor saxophonist, dies of cancer at 64
  • 1996-01-20 Gerald Joseph Mulligan, baritone saxophonist/composer, dies at 68
  • 1996-01-20 Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist and orchestra leader (Jazz on a Summer Day), dies of complications from a knee infection at 68
  • 1996-03-06 Herb Hall, American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, dies at 88
  • 1996-04-16 Raymond Hill, American tenor saxophonist (Kings of Rhythm), dies at 62
  • 1996-05-27 Albert "Pud" Brown, clarinetist/saxophonist, dies at 79
  • 1996-11-05 Eddie Harris, saxophonist/composer, dies at 62
  • 1996-11-23 Art Porter, saxophonist, dies at 35
  • 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
  • 2001-09-02 Jay Migliori, American saxophonist (Supersax), dies at 70
  • 2001-12-19 Marcel Mule, French saxophonist. (b. 1901)
  • 2004-02-03 Cornelius Bumpus, American saxophonist and keyboardist (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • 2004-06-04 Steve Lacy, American saxophonist (b. 1934)
  • 2004-07-22 Illinois Jacquet, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 81
  • 2004-12-17 Dick Heckstall-Smith, English jazz-blues saxophonist, dies at 70
  • 2006-03-31 Jackie McLean, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1931 or 1932)
  • 2006-05-01 Johnny Paris, American saxophonist (Johnny and the Hurricanes) (b. 1940)
  • 2006-09-02 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, dies of liver failure at 75
  • 2006-09-19 Chuck Rio, American singer and saxophonist (The Champs) (b. 1929)
  • 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)
  • 2007-04-28 Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist & bandleader (The Tonight Show), dies at 78
  • 2007-07-03 [Homer] Boots Randolph, American saxophonist (Yakety Sax), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 80
  • 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
  • 2008-08-19 LeRoi Moore, American saxophonist (Dave Matthews Band), dies at 46
  • 2009-01-29 [Bernie Ross] Hank Crawford, American saxophonist, arranger and songwriter (Help Me Make It Through the Night), dies of complications from a stroke at 74
  • 2010-07-12 Paulo Moura, Brazilian clarinetist and saxophonist (b. 1932)
  • 2010-07-13 Manohari Singh, Indian saxophonist and part of R.D. Burman's band (b. 1931)
  • 2010-07-23 Willem Breuker, Dutch saxophonist and conductor (WB Collective), dies at 65
  • 2011-06-18 Clarence Clemons, American saxophonist (b. 1942)
  • 2012-02-25 Red Holloway [James], American jazz tenor saxophonist, dies from stroke and kidney failure at 84
  • 2012-04-12 Andrew Love, American saxophonist (The Memphis Horns), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 70
  • 2012-04-19 Greg Ham, Australian rock saxophonist and flutist (Men At Work), dies under mysterious circumstances at 58
  • 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, dies at 76
  • 2012-10-18 David Spencer Ware, American free jazz saxophonist, dies at 62