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Jazz encyclopedias list John Handy as an alto saxophonist who also plays tenor and baritone saxophone, saxello, clarinet, oboe, and vocals. He is actually a consummate world musician and teacher who has devoted his life to using music to elevate the human spirit.
His soulful and fiery saxophone style is instantly recognizable to generations of jazz fans world-wide.
Photo by Stuart Brinin
As a singer, he brings a kind of storytelling narrative to the blues that is entertaining, educational, and moving; while his "up tempo" scat vocals could be compared to the best scat singers anywhere. He sings ballads with inventiveness that is rare among singers.
“One of the most innovative and visionary altoists in the post-bop era” SF JAZZ
“John Handy is living jazz history.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Whenever I want to know what’s going to happen next in jazz I say ‘What’s John Handy doing?” Dianthe &“Dee” Spencer, Director, San Francisco State University School of Music and Dance.