Kidd Jordan

Kidd Jordan

 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Kidd Jordan was recognized as a jazz maverick back in the 1950s intent on exploring jazz rooted music's outer reaches. In recognition of his great musical achievements, knighthood was bestowed on him by the Republic of France where he holds the title Chevalier des Artes et Lettres.


Legendary saxophonist Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan is acclaimed internationally as one of the true master improvisers still performing today.  Indie Jazz aptly describes Jordan as a "genteel man" who is "probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world." 


Knighthood was bestowed on Jordan by the Republic of France where he holds the title Chevalier des Artes et Lettres. 

In May of 2017 Jordan received an honorary doctor of music degree from Loyola University New Orleans ─ a distinction reserved at Loyola for eminent individuals whose lives of achievement and service exemplify the philosophy of Jesuit education.                                                             


The list of artists he has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program; Cannonball Adderley, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ed Blackwell, Ellis Marsalis, Ray Charles, Cecil Taylor, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Archie Shepp, Aaron Neville, Sun Ra, Peter Korvald, Alan Silva, Louis Moholo, Sunny Murray, Lena Horne, Gladys Knight, Big Maybelle, and Aretha Franklin...   Jordan founded the Improvisational Arts Ensemble with Alvin Fielder, Clyde Kerr, Jr. and London Branch and later added Alvin Thomas.


Kidd has had a productive musical relationship with Alvin Fielder, William Parker, and Joel Futterman. His first recording was titled, "No Compromise" and that very accurately expresses his personal conviction about his music.


Jordan has a degree in music from Southern Univ. and a master’s from Millikin Univ. 

At Southern he connected with soon-to-be musical legend and future brother-in-law the late Alvin Batiste.


He began his formal teaching career in 1955 at Bethune HS in Norco, La.  He spent time as an instructor at the William Houston School of Music. He taught at Southern University at New Orleans from 1972 - 2006 as head of the jazz studies program.


In 1976, Jordan organized the first World Saxophone Quartet which included baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett, tenor saxophonist David Murray, and alto saxophonists Julius Hemphill, and Oliver Lake.  Kidd's influence is seen in former student Charles Joseph, one of the founding members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  Jordan was founder of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp and the Heritage School of Music.


He has been documented by CBS 60 Minutes; received Offbeat's 1'st Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education, SUNO Foundation BASH III honoree, and was a Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the Vision Festival XIII.  In 2013 Jordan was designated a “Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalist Association.


Jordan’s teaching continues to build an everlasting legacy, former students includes; Bradford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Charles Joseph, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Leroy Adams, Calvin Johnson, Sammie “Big Sam” William, Julius Handy, Elton Herron, Carl Leblanc, Darrell Lavigne, Brian Quezergue, Kenneth Anderson, Andrew Baham,  Paul Batiste, Peter Batiste, Jonathan Batiste, Curley Blanchard, Alonza Bowens,  Gary Brown, Maynard Chatters, Jr., Tony Dagradi, Neal Dominque, Joe Dyson, Kurt Ford, Natasha Harris, Arthur Mitchell, Aja Mohammed, George Pack, Conan Pappas,  Usie Phillips, Wesley Phillips, Khristopher Royal, Chris Severin, Vernon Severin, Troy Sawyer, Walter Smith, III, Tony Villon, Richard Moten, Louis Bibbs, Abe Compson, Wali Abbel Ra’oof, Safi Ra’oof, Gregory Agid, Courtney Bryan, and a host of others. 

Four of Jordan's children, Kent, Stephanie, Rachel and Marlon, are professional musicians. 



1. "Palm of Soul" - Kidd Jordan (saxophone); Hamid Drake (vocals, drums, percussion); William Parker (bass instrument, drums, percussion), 2005

2. Kidd Jordan/Joel Futterman/Alvin Fielder Trio -
"Live at the Tampere Jazz Happening 2000"

3. Alan Silva/ Kidd Jordan/ William Parker - "Emancipation Suite #1"

4. Nickelsdorf Konfrontation: The Joel Futterman 'Kidd' Jordan Quintet, 1995

5. Kidd's Stuff: Kidd Jordan & The Elektrik Band, 2001

6. Joel Futterman / Kidd Jordan / Al Fielder - "Southern Extreme" 1998

7. Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan - "You Don't Know What Love Is"