Jon Faddis was born in Oakland, California on July 24, 1953, and began playing the trumpet at the age of eight, inspired by an appearance of Louis Armstrong on the Ed Sullivan Show. Three years later, his trumpet teacher Bill Catahano (an alumnus of the Stan Kenton Band) turned Jon on to Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he subsequently appeared at the famed Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. Two days before his 18th birthday, Jon joined the Lionel Hampton Band as a featured soloist, and in the same year was invited to sit in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band on one of their regular Monday night sessions at the Village Vanguard. Mr. Faddis toured and recorded with this band for four years and also studied at the Manhattan School of Music during this period. By the age of 20, Jon had become widely acclaimed by the critical press; Dizzy Gillespie declared, “...he’s the best ever - including me!”
Since then, Jon Faddis has become known throughout the world as one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time. He has an unfailing commitment to the education of young musicians and frequently conducts clinics and master classes to help the next generation of jazz musicians.
In 1999, Jon was appointed Artist-in-Residence in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, State University of New York, where he teaches in both the Brass and Jazz Programs.