Jim Norton is a woodwind multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jim has performed, collaborated, and appeared with many other artists in a variety of musical genres, both in the U.S. and abroad. He currently resides in Seattle.

Here are some of Jim’s key accomplishments:

Jim Norton musician, composer, arranger (photo by Joann Arruda)

  • Performances of music by Jon Jang with spoken word: Angel Voices: Rhapsody on Angel Island Poetry in 2010, Portrait of Sun Yat-sen in 2012, Toisan Railway in 2014, Oyama Canon in D in 2014
  • Post-Chromodal Out!—Hafez Modirzadeh, 2012, Pi Recordings. “Wolf & Warp” (commissioned composition).
  • India & Africa—Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, (arrangements), 2010.
  • Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra—Japan tour, 2004
  • Ariadne (opera)Clark Suprynowitz, 2000
  • Relache and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (silent films)Clubfoot Orchestra, Lincoln Center, New York, 1996
  • Women Warrior in Berkeley, Los Angeles and Boston with Jon Jang, 1994-1995
  • The Dragon Painter (silent film)Mark Izu, 1993
  • Monkey (modern dance)Fred Ho, 1991-1998
  • Cycles/L’Mehek (modern dance)Kulintang Arts, 1990-1994
  • A Chinaman’s Chance (opera)Fred Ho, 1987

Jazz, Music and Arts Festivals

  • San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, California, 2013
  • San Francisco Jazz Festival, 1998, 2007, 2010
  • San Francisco Chinatown, 2011, 2013, 2014
  • Monterey, California, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2005
  • Chicago, 1994, 1999
  • Singapore, 1992
  • Manila, Philippines, 1992
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, 1991
  • Seattle, 1991, 1999, 2009
  • Verona, Italy, 1990
  • Freiburg, Germany, 1990
  • Montreux, Switzerland, 1978


  • Time Remembered: Compositions of Bill Evans—Jim Norton Collective, is available on Origin Records.
  • Paper Son Paper Songs—Jon Jang, Asian Improv Records, 2006
  • Island—Jon Jang, Soul Note, 1995
  • Tiananmen—Jon Jang, Soul Note, 1993
  • Self Defense—Jon Jang, Soul Note, 1992
  • Never Give Up—Jon Jang, Asian Improv Records, 1989
  • Rhapsodies—Asian American Orchestra, Water Baby Records, 2005
  • Monk’s Moods—Asian American Orchestra (with Steve Lacy), Keeper Records, 2000
  • Far East Suite—Asian American Orchestra, Asian Improv Records, 1999 (Grammy Award nomination)
  • Worlview—John L. Worley, Jr., Dancing Sumo Music, 2003.
  • Nava-ye mardom—Hafez Modirzadeh, X-Dot, 1996
  • In Chromodal Discourse—Hafez Modirzadeh, Asian Improv Records, 1993
  • Music for Film—Jon English, Owr, 1994
  • Underground Railroad to my Heart—Fred Ho, Soul Note, 1994
  • Monkey—Fred Ho, Koch, 1991
  • Masaoka Orchestra—Mia Masaoka, 1993
  • Spider Dreams—Turtle Island String Quartet, Windham Hill, 1993

Theater/Musical Theater

  • Hello Dolly, Evita, Bye Bye Birdie, Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, Terazin, King and I, Show Boat, Stunt Girl, Meet Me in St. Louis, 42nd Street, The Producers—Village Theatre, Seattle 2006-2012
  • Grease—European tour 2003-2004
  • The Black Rider—American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco 2004
  • West Side Story—U.S. tour, 1997
  • 42nd Street—European tour, 1996-1997
  • Annie—Seoul, South Korea, 1996
  • Cats—Eurotour, Vienna, 1995-1996
  • Broadway Duesseldorf—Duesseldorf, 1994-1995
  • The Woman Warrior—Berkeley, Boston, Los Angeles, 1994-1995 (Music Supervisor)
  • Offshore—San Francisco Mime Troupe, Fall Tour, 1993
  • Antigone—American Conservatory Theater (with ROVA Saxophone Quartet), 1993

Casual Shows, including:

  • The Four Tops, The Temptations, Ernestine Anderson, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Rita Moreno, Olivia Newton-John, Lou Rawls, and Linda Ronstadt.

New Music/Improvised Music

  • Appearances and/or Recordings with Anthony Brown, Jon Jang, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, John Lewis, James Moody, Don Moye, James Newton, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Wayne Shorter, John Tchicai, Turtle Island String Quartet, Wayne Wallace, Francis Wong.

Original Works

  • Most recently, Jim Norton has worked to perform and record his arrangements and original compositions. In 2009, he was selected to perform his original quartet compositions for the Jazz: The Second Century series in Seattle presented by Earshot Jazz.
  • Jim Norton’s original composition “Wolf &Warp” on Hafez Mordirzadeh’s recording Post-Chromodal Out! received critical acclaim in the New York Times and Jazz Times.  The recording was also selected among the best 20 jazz albums of 2012 by Lucid Culture.

Jim Norton Bill Evans Project

  • Jim Norton’s arrangements of Bill Evans compositions premiered at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest in 2013.
  • Jim’s debut CD: Time Remembered, a collection of Bill Evans compositions is available on Origin Records.