Saxophonist Edward “Kidd” Jordan was born May 5, 1935, in Crowley, Louisiana. After completing a music degree at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he relocated to New Orleans, where he taught at Southern University beginning in 1974. Jordan also earned the master’s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and later studied at Northwestern University under Fred Hemke. Jordan has performed and recorded with such legends as Cannonball Adderley, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ed Blackwell, Ray Charles, Cecil Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Ed Blackwell, The Temptations, Big Maybelle, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Peter Korvald, William Parker, Alan Silva, Louis Moholo, Sunny Murray, Hamid Drake, and Ellis Marsalis, to name a few. He organized the first World Saxophone Quartet in 1976 that included Julius Hemphill, David Murray, Harniet Bluiett, and Oliver Lake. He also founded the Improvisational Arts Ensemble with Alvin Fielder, Clyde Kerr, Jr., and London Branch, later transforming into the Improvisational Arts Quintet. He has amassed a discography of over 30 recordings and has performed in jazz and music festivals around the world including Germany, Netherlands, Finland, France, and Africa, has been a featured performer with the New Orleans Philharmonic, as well as performed with various “pit bands” in support of shows that come through New Orleans. Jordan has been a regular performer at the Visions Festival in New York, and in 2008 was recognized with their Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been documented by CBS News 60 Minutes and he was honored with Offbeat magazine’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education. In 1985 the French Ministry of Culture bestowed knighthood on Jordan as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the French government’s highest artistic award for his work as an educator and performer. Jordan has also been a highly influential educator, counting Branford and Wynton Marsalis among the hundreds of students he taught at Southern University in 36 years of service. His dedication was recently recognized by the university with recognition from The Southern University at New Orleans Foundation.
New Orleans, LA