March 26th, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia
- Grammy Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, from Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival, for the selection Be-Bop (2007)
- James Moody Day - Proclamation by Mayor Corey A. Booker (July 25, 2008)
- NEA Jazz Master Award - 1998 Recipient from the National Endowment For The Arts
Saxophonist and flutist James Moody is widely considered one of the great jazz artists of all time, and has been engaging audiences with his unique sound and warm sense of humor since the 1940s, when he began performing with Dizzy Gillespie.
Upon leaving the Air Force, Moody joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, which also featured Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson, and Ray Brown. Performing with Gillespie gave Moody a chance to hone his bebop skills and develop his own effusive style of improvisation on the tenor saxophone and flute.
After returning to the U.S. in 1952, Moody put together a septet, began recording on the flute, and recorded several albums on the Prestige and Argo record labels. In 1963, he began to tour on and off with Dizzy Gillespie’e quintet.
In 1973, Moody left jazz to work in the Las Vegas Hilton Orchestra, playing shows for Bill Cosby, Elvis Presley, Liberace, and Redd Foxx. When he returned to jazz in the 1980s, his career stayed steady throughout the next two decades. Even into his 80s, Moody tours with his quartet.
Based in San Diego, California, Moody released the album Moody 4B in 2010 on IPO Records. Known for his buoyant improvisations, and for being one of the first jazz flutists, James Moody is a jazz master.