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John Richard Handy III (born February 3, 1933) is an American jazz musician most commonly associated with the alto saxophone, although he also plays tenor and baritone, saxello, clarinet, and oboe, and also sings.[1]

John Handy
John Handy 1977.JPG
Handy in 1977
Background information
Birth nameJohn Richard Handy III
Born (1933-02-03) February 3, 1933 (age 86)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active1953–present
LabelsRoulette, Columbia, Impulse!, Warner Bros., Milestone, American Music, Harbor, Koch, Boulevard


Handy first came to prominence while working for Charles Mingus in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Handy led several groups, among them a quintet with Michael White, violin, Jerry Hahn, guitar, Don Thompson, bass, and Terry Clarke, drums. This group's performance at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival was recorded and released as an album; Handy received Grammy nominations for "Spanish Lady" (jazz performance) and "If Only We Knew" (jazz composition).

Handy has taught music history and performance at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

In the 1980s he worked in the project Bebop & Beyond, which recorded tribute albums to Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. His son, John Richard Handy IV, is a drummer who has played with Handy on occasion.


As leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit

With Brass Fever

With Charles Mingus

With Mingus Dynasty


External linksEdit