Pick any common name and it would often be true that an entire band could be concocted from the musicians who would come running were the name to be hollered out at the union hall. Such diversions just as often involve leaving out the tuba player, a decision that has actually been made more than once in several genres but never with any finality. An all-John Moore band would -- among many noisy instruments -- actually include a tuba player, the San Francisco native whose professional career began when he was still in high school. That was the mid '50s, perhaps not the best time to acquire status by wandering around carrying a tuba.
To some people there would never be an appropriate time to become a professional tuba player; for example, a noted Asian immigration lawyer went to incredible lengths to prevent her daughter from becoming just that. Moore spent some years in the advertising business but has managed to devote most of his adult life to the big horn. Discographer Tom Lord tracks him back to recording sessions in the early '70s; since that time he has appeared on a dozen recordings including a 1999 scorcher by Judith Durham & the Hottest Band in Town, on which he also plays bass. Moore has taken part in Bay Area performances with bandleaders such as Lionel Hampton, Guy Lombardo, and Bob Crosby's Bobcats. Besides working in trad jazz groups such as the Hot Club of San Francisco, Don Neely's Royal Society Six, and the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine, Moore also performs with the San Jose Symphony and the Santa Clara Philharmonic Orchestra.