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John David Simon

John David Simon has performed extensively on the national and international jazz scene with Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Clark Terry, Pat Martino, Buddy DeFranco, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, J.J. Johnson, Shirley Scott, The New Jersey Pops Orchestra, T.S. Monk and Charles Earland. John’s big band credits include The Lionel Hampton, Illinois Jacquet, Artie Shaw, Jimmy Dorsey, Harlem Renaissance and Cotton Club Orchestras. He has toured Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States performing at major festivals including the Playboy, Monterey, Montreal, North Sea, JVC, Pori, Grande Parade du Jazz (Nice, France), and Newport jazz festivals. Some of the venues John has played include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note, The Hollwood Bowl and Ravinia. Currently Simon appears on over ten CD albums, including three as a leader, Legacy: The John Simon Trio Featuring Don Patterson, his critically acclaimed debut CD on Muse Records, his second CD, John David Simon And Friends With Clark Terry & Etta Jones, on WarmGroove Records and his latest CD album, Phantasm on WarmGroove Records. As a sideman, Simon can be heard on Introducing The CJ Heptet with Cleave Guyton Jr. on Consolidated Artists Productions, The Joe Sudler Swing Machine & Clark Terry on TJA Records, Born to Swing with Buddy DeFranco on Satellite Records and The Ponderer with the Odean Pope Saxophone Choir on Soul Note Records. John also appears in the documentary film Texas Tenor: the Illinois Jacquet Story, shown on the Bravo TV network.

In 1999, Simon entered into the prestigious Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler, as one of 3300 biographies spanning the entire history of jazz. A recipient of two NEA Jazz Performance Fellowships and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music, John has taught jazz performance, ensemble and musicianship at many conservatories and schools.

Simon currently resides in New York City where he works as a free-lance saxophonist, woodwind doubler and bandleader, and is a faculty member of Stevens Institute of Technology.


National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Fellowship/ National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Performance Fellowship/ Manhattan School of Music Performance Scholarship/ Eubie Blake Scholarship/ Philadelphia College of Performing Arts Performance Scholarship


Album Review

John David Simon: Phantasm

Read "Phantasm" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran saxophonist John David Simon delivers his third album as leader swinging through a repertoire of ten straight ahead mainstream material on the very classy Phantasm, featuring a blend of sparkling original statements and fresh new arrangements of several standards from such icons as the great John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Pat Martino among others. The South Philadelphia native who currently resides in New York City, performs as a free-lance musician and is also employed as an educator. As a ...

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“ I just love his playing... he doesn’t become obsessed with all these clichés and so-called modern things... he knows how to swing .... like a lot of those cats that’s been around - Don Byas... Ben Webster... Hawkins." —Clark Terry

“[On] ‘Rain Check’...the band really hit its stride as John Simon fired up a big- toned, booting solo on tenor sax.” —Ira Gitler, JazzTimes

“...his full warm sound combined with soulful expression make him a very individual voice on his instrument...He can surely compete with the stars of this new streamlined generation of jazz musicians like Joshua Redman.” —Ulrich Vanek, Jazz Podium (Germany)

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


M.M., Manhattan School of Music; B.M. cum laude, University of the Arts. Faculty member of Stevens Institute of Technology.


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


WarmGroove Records




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