Beginning his musical career at age fifteen, saxophonist John Handy played many styles of music during his long and prolific career. He got a degree in music from San Francisco State University and has been a music educator since 1968, teaching history and performance at a number of colleges and universities. Handy has also been in a succession of groups. The most successful featured Jerry Hahn and violinist Michael White. With this group, Handy was the sensation of the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival and recorded several best-selling albums. Handy was honored with the Bill Graham Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.