Jon Faddis began playing trumpet at age eight and by his mid-teens, had met Dizzy Gillespie and sat in with his combo at the famed Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. After high school Faddis joined Lionel Hampton's band and later moved to New York to sit in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. Faddis also studied at the Manhattan School of Music, worked with Gil Evans and Charles Mingus, and recorded with Dizzy and Oscar Peterson. By age 20, Faddis had already won accolades from the press, recognition in the jazz polls, and heady praise from jazz greats.
Faddis became one of the most in-demand session musicians in New York and can be heard on albums by performers including Duke Ellington, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Stanley Clarke. Faddis also toured with Gillespie, performing and recording at the 1977 Montreaux Jazz Festival. In 1982 he performed at the White House. A year later, Faddis debuted his own combo at the Village Vanguard.
Faddis has served as music director of the United Nations Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York, which he currently leads along with the Jon Faddis Quartet.
He has spent over a decade teaching at SUNY Purchase and holding master classes, clinics, and workshops all over the world.