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Canadian Heritage

Zoot Sims


“ZOOT” SIMS (saxophonist, bandleader) was born John Haley Sims on October 29, 1925 in Inglewood, California and passed away March 23, 1985 in New York. The innovative tenor player grew up in a vaudeville family and played drums and clarinet as a child. Playing professionally at 15 with Kenny Baker (where he earned his nickname) he went on to perform with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich. Sims was one of the famous “Four Brothers” sax quartet in Woody Herman’s band along with Jimmy Giuffre, Stan Getz and Herbie Steward. He formed a successful partnership in the 1950s with Al Cohn, took up soprano and had an active performing and recording career – most notably for Norman Granz, - for the next 3 decades.