Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center www.jazzatlincolncenter.org
Monsignor John Sanders (trombone) was born in Elmsford, New York. He attended The Julliard School before entering the US Navy, where he played in the Navy Band. He later went on to perform in clubs around New York before joining the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1954. Sanders was introduced to Ellington the previous year by Lucky Thompson and eventually became a substitute trombonist for Juan Tizol. He later switched from the slide trombone to the valve trombone with the encouragement of Tizol.
Sanders toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for five years. Some of his personal highlights include the Orchestra's collaboration with the Symphony of the Air at Carnegie Hall during the premiere of Night Creature in 1955 and the recording of Black, Brown, and Beige with gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in 1957. For the past 25 years, Sanders has served as a Roman Catholic priest at St. Mary Church in Norwalk.
Text copyright © 2000 by Jazz at Lincoln Center www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.