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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Dexter Gordon


DEXTER GORDON (saxophonist, bandleader) was born February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, California and passed away April 25, 1990 in Philadephia, PA. The tenor saxophonist is considered one of the earliest proponents of bebop, later influencing John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Gordon, in his early career played with Lionel Hampton and Billy Eckstine’s bands alongside such bebop pioneers as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons. His performing career flourished on 52nd street of late 1940s New York and through many classic recordings for Dial and Blue Note – working with Freddie Hubbard, Barry Harris, and others. Gordon returned, to great acclaim to the U.S. after a number of years in Europe and in 1986 his role as Dale Turner in “Round Midnight”, based on Lester Young and Bud Powell, earned him an Academy Award nomination.