John Firmin

John Firmin was surrounded by jazz music from the beginning while growing up the son of a tenor player in Anchorage, Alaska, and got his earliest experiences performing tenor sax in soul bands and small combos, backing up “exotic” dancers. He learned tunes by Stanley Turrentine, King Curtis, Hank Crawford and Fathead Newman, and, jumping ahead twenty-five years, he built an eight-piece band to play many of these same arrangements — using most often the lineup of four horns and four rhythm players. In 1975, Firmin was asked to join the legendary David Bromberg band which led him to relocate to San Francisco. Eventually Firmin’s desire to be more than a sideman, to be a band leader, led him to create a group that crosses the juncture between jazz and R&B — the Johnny Nocturne Band.

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