- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : PE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 1
American jazz musician most commonly associated with the alto saxophone, although he also plays tenor and baritone saxophone, saxello, clarinet, oboe, and sings.
Handy first came to prominence while working for Charles Mingus in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Handy led several groups, among them a quintet with Michael White, violin, Jerry Hahn, guitar, Don Thompson, bass, and Terry Clarke, drums. This group's performance at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival was recorded and released as an album; Handy received Grammy nominations for "Spanish Lady" (jazz performance) and "If Only We Knew" (jazz composition).
Handy has also taught music history and performance at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and other schools.
In the 1980s he worked in the project Bebop & Beyond, who recorded tribute albums to Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.
Handy's son, John Richard Handy IV, is a drummer who has played with Handy on occasion.