TJ Saxophone Artists - John Fordham

John Fordham

John Fordham


Signature Custom



John Fordham

Early life: John was born in Auckland New Zealand .His family there are Polynesian and his roots lie in the Maori people of New Zealand.

He is a past member of the Ngati Ranana Maori Culture group in London where he learned to perform some traditional Maori songs and dances, including the Haka!

He came to England on a ship as a child and was raised in Essex and London where he grew up listening to and developing a love for swinging Jazz and Rock n Roll.

His favourite players include Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Arnett Cobb, Sam the Man Taylor Red Prysock, Sam Butera and Sonny Stitt.

At the age of 21, inspired by hearing Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman on the radio, he took up the clarinet with great enthusiasm, and couldn’t put it down. In his own words “ I played it till my lips bled, I was just that enthusiastic about it and I wanted to be good.
John has three clarinets, two vintage woods and a World War 2 metal one, which he tours with. .

After a short while he started to play in local bands and switched to tenor sax when he joined a local big band .

Meanwhile, he had been friends for several years with a group of lads who shared a love of Jazz and Swing and together they went on and formed the Jive Aces. See

John has been the tenor sax player with the Jive Aces for 25 years now.

He has played with them in 35 different countries, doing an average of 260 shows a year across America, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

He has recorded many albums, mostly with the Jive Aces, and usually in Hollywood Los Angeles California.

He has recorded with many diverse players including ChickCorea and Mark Isham, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk, Vic Flick who played guitar on the original James Bond theme and also the wonderful singer and balladeer Keely Smith,

He has also performed with all the above as well as soul legend Isaac Hayes and Van Morrison.

He played the saxophone solo on the Jive Aces hit youtube video “ Bring me sunshine” which has over two and a half million hits and has won seven filmawards. See The Jive Aces present: Bring Me Sunshine
It has famously been prescribed by a doctor to cure depression!

And the arrangement, including John’s tenor solo, was chosen by Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor to dance to on Strictly come dancing.

Highlight shows for the band include headlining at the Royal Albert Hall and playing twice at BuckinghamPalace, Glastonbury as well as at the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta Georgia and also in London 2012.
The band also played the famous Apollo theatre in Harlem, renowned for having perhaps the toughest audience in the world.John plays several times a year at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in Soho London.

He has played on literally thousands of radio shows around the world including a residency on BBC London on the Joanne Good show with Jive Aces.

He reached the semi finals of Britain’s Got Talent 2012 with the Jive Aces.

John also plays the fiddle and the great Highland Bagpipes. He is self taught on both and is working to develop his own style particularly on Bagpipes.

When he has the time, John enjoys teaching anyone who is keen to learn from any age.

John has recently started literary writing and last month produced his first short story along with 12 poems.

The Jive Aces have 11,000 Youtube followers and 16,000 Face book likes