Ricky Ford

Jazz Tenor Saxophonist


Ford , Jazz Tenor saxophonist, was born in Boston March 4th, 1954. He studied at the New England Conservatory. In 1974 he recorded with Gunther Schuller and then played in the Duke Ellington Orchestra under Mercer Ellington from 1974 to 1976. After this he played with Charles Mingus (1976-1977) Dannie Richmond (1978-1981), Lionnel Hampton, and then in the Mingus Dinasty (1982).         In 1985 he played with Abdulah Ibrahim. He has recorded extensively as a leader for use and Candid

He had taught at Brandeis University and Istanbul Bilgi University.

In 1991 he received the medail of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”  High French distinction.

He founded in 2009 the Toucy Jazz Festival: www.toucyjazzfestival.com, where he received the keys of the City.

He founded in 2008 his Art Gallery in Toucy, Galerie14. www.galerie14.org

He founded in 2000 “ZE BIGBAND” www.zebigband.com

Ricky Ford ordered a special commission to Benny Golson.


As leader

New World Records

  • 1977: Loxodonta Africana with Oliver Beener, Charles Sullivan, Bob Neloms, Richard Davis, Dannie Richmond. Muse Records
  • 1978: Manhattan Plaza with Oliver Beener, Jaki Byard, David Friesen, Dannie Richmond
  • 1980: Flying Colors with John Hicks, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb
  • 1981: Tenor of the Times with  Albert Dailey, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb
  • 1982: Interpretations with John Hicks, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb, Robert Watson, Wallace Roney
  • 1983: Future’s Gold with Albert Dailey, Larry Corvell, Ray Drummond, Jimmy Cobb
  • 1984: Shorter Ideas with Jimmy Knepper, James Spaulding, Kirk Leightsey, , Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb
  • 1986: Looking Ahead
  • 1987: Saxotic Stomp with James Spaulding, Charles Davis, Kirk Lightsey, Ray Drummond, Jimmy Cobb
  • 1989: Hard Groovin’ with Roy Hargrove, Geoff Kezzer, Robert Hurst, Jeff “Tain” Watts.
  • 1992: Tenor Madness Too with Antoine Roney, Donald Brown, Peter Washington,  Louis Hayes.

Candid Records

  • 1989: Manhattan Blues with Jaki Bayard, Milt Hinton, Ben Riley,
  • 1990: Ebony Rhapsody U.S. Jazz No. 13
  • 1991: Hot Brass with Lew Soloff, Claudio Roditi ,Steve Turre, ,Danilo Pérez, Christian Mc Bride, Carl Allen.
  • 1991: American African Blues with Jaki Byard, Milt Hinton, Ben Riley

Other labels

  • 1994: Tenors of Yusef Lateef & Ricky Ford with Yusef Lateef, Avery Sharpe, Kamal Sabir.
  • 1999: Balaena with George Cables, Cecil McBell, Ed Thigpen,
  • 2002: Songs for My Mother
  • 2003: Reeds and Keys with Kirk Lightsey
  • 2009: Very Saxy with  Rhoda Scott
  • 2010: 7095 with  Ricky Ford & Ze Big Band
  • 2013: Sacred Concert with Ricky Ford & Ze Big Band

As sideman

With Abdullah Ibrahim

  • Water froman ancient Well (Tiptoe, 1986)

With Ran Blake

  •  Short Life of Barbara Monk (Soul Note, 1986)

With Mal Waldron

  •  Crowd Scene ( Soul Note, 1989),
  • Where are you ? (Soul Note, 1989)

With Steve Lacy

  • Vespe’rs (Soul Note, 1993)

With Ran Blake

  • Cocktail at Dusk (Impulse 2014)