born December 23, 1966
|Birthplace||Staten Island, NY|
Modern alto saxophonist and composer Jon Gordon is a driving force in cutting-edge jazz. A native New Yorker, he began his musical exploration at the age of ten, encouraged by his musical family. He attended Performing Arts High School and studied saxophone privately in his teen years and showed significant promise, winning numerous awards at a young age. His love for jazz began as a teenager after listening to a Phil Woods record; not long after, he began to study with Phil Woods himself after sitting in with Eddie Chamblee at Sweet Basil. Jon studied at Manhattan School of Music, during which time he worked with Roy Eldridge, Leon Parker, Doc Cheatham, Larry Goldings, Al Grey, Eddie Locke, Red Rodney, and Mel Lewis.
Jon recorded his first album as a leader in 1988, "Beginnings And Endings" for the Norweigian label Taurus. In 1996 he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition which was judged by premiere saxophonists Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Heath and Joshua Redman. By this time, Jon had already released several more albums as a leader, but the win secured his status as one of the foremost modern alto sax players.
Since then, he has gone on to lead his own groups at venues like the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, Ronnie Scott's in London, and festivals like the Charlie Parker Festival, the Oslo Jazz Festival, the Ottowa Jazz Festival, and the Savannah Jazz Festival, among many others. He has recently worked with Maria Schneider, Ron McClure, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, T.S. Monk, Bill Mays, The Vanguard Orchestra, Bill Charlap, Mark Turner, George Colligan, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Cobb, Ben Riley, Harry Connick Jr., Bob Mintzer, Bill Mobley, and the N.Y. Pops Orchestra. His latest release, "Evolution," was picked by numerous jazz critics as one of the top albums of 2009. More information about his recent projects can be found at his website. Jon continues to compose, play, and push the envelope in New York. He's written a memoir about his early years, dedicated to his mother, For Sue.