1924 to 1970
July 25, 1906 in Cambridge
May 11, 1970
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
John Cornelius "Johnny" Hodges (July 25, 1907 – May 11, 1970) 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, except the period between 1932 and 1946 when Otto Hardwick generally played first chair. Hodges was also featured on soprano saxophone, but refused to play soprano after 1946, when he was given the lead chair. He is considered one of the definitive alto saxophone players of the big band era (alongside Benny Carter). Hodges started playing with Lloyd Scott, Sidney Bechet, Lucky Roberts and Chick Webb.