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Pianist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and conductor – whatever it is Gordon Goodwin touches, it’s all about his love of music.

Gordon was born in Wichita, Kansas, and Goodwin’s parents moved to Southern California when Goodwin was four.

He completed his formal music education at Cal State University-Northridge, and began working as a live performer at Disneyland.

After a few years, he was commissioned to work on a musical that featured past and present Mouseketeers (including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera). That exposure led to studio work with the likes of Quincy Jones, Mel Tormé, Ray Charles and legendary vocalist Johnny Mathis.

In 1999, Gordon founded the Big Phat Band for what he thought would be a single performance at his alma mater Cal State at Northridge. Since then, the Big Phat Band has recorded 10 albums, and in the process received 25 Grammy® nominations. Goodwin won a Grammy® for ‘Best Instrumental Arrangement’ for “Incredits” for the film The Incredibles and has been honored with 3 Emmy awards for his work on the Steven Spielberg-produced shows Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain.

His work has been featured/utilized in more than 80 film & TV productions spanning the gamut of pop culture: amplifying the likes of National Treasure, Star Trek: Nemesis, Snakes on a Plane, Get Smart, Remember the Titans, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Majestic (starring Jim Carrey), The Lion King, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

Gordon has won four Grammy® Awards and three Daytime Emmy Awards and has received twenty-five Grammy® nominations for his compositions and arrangements.

He has been nominated for 3 Grammy awards this year (2024):

  • Best Jazz Vocal Album: Patti Austin Featuring Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – For Ella 2.
  • Best Instrumental Composition: Quartet San Francisco Featuring Gordon Goodwin’s 18-pc Big Phat Band – Cutey and The Dragon.
  • Best Arrangement, Instruments, and Vocals: Patti Austin ft. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – April in Paris

Gordon is also the host of the popular long-running radio program, “Phat Tracks with Gordon Goodwin,” airing for 5 years on KJAZZ

In this episode, we talked about:

🎷 How his 1st piano teacher had him composing music at the age of 5
🎷 The impact of writing music for animated productions on his writing for Big Band
🎷 The advice about orchestration that changed his approach forever
🎷 Phil Woods’ impression of Gordon’s saxophone playing
🎷 Gordon’s advice for self-taught musicians
🎷 The one word multi-instrumentalist James Morrison taught him not to use
🎷 Working at Disney with Eric Marienthal and Sal Lovano
🎷 The pure genius of Patti Austin that contributed to the most recent Grammy nominations
🎷 Podcast supporter questions answered!
🎷 And more!


Here’s the Video:


Links and Resources:

1. Gordon’s Facebook:
2. Gordon’s Instagram:
6. Patti Austin Album Link:
7. Link for a new music video for Cutey and the Dragon:


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