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Johnny Hodges (Composer)

Born: 25th July 1907, Cambridge, Masschusetts, United States

Died: 11th May 1970, New York, United States

Nationality: American

Cornelius "Johnny" Hodges was an American alto saxophonist, best known for solo work with Duke Ellington's big band. He played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years. Hodges was also featured on soprano saxophone, but refused to play soprano after 1946. He is considered one of the definitive alto saxophone players of the big band era (along with Benny Carter).

After beginning his career as a teenager in Boston, Hodges began to travel to New York and played with Lloyd Scott, Sidney Bechet, Luckey Roberts and Chick Webb. When Ellington wanted to expand his band in 1928, Ellington's clarinet player Barney Bigard recommended Hodges.