Born in Brussels, 1929, self-taught musician, Johnny DOVER started, at age 15, his musical activity.
In 1947 he formed his first jazz group to participate in the International Jazz Competition which was organised by The HOT CLUB of Belgium. He won the award of best clarinet player.
In 1950 he studies tenor sax and is greatly influenced by Stan Getz. That same year he forms a new group dedicated to modern jazz and comes out as winner of the XIth Jazz Competition.
It is in 1955 that he goes professional, working in the orchestras of Ernst Van t'Hof, Léo Souris, Jeannot Morales, Jack Say, Henri Seghers and participates in various jazz competitions.
Having listened to the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, he opts for baritone sax and quickly, according to opinion polls, establishes himself as best soloist in Belgium for this instrument and in 1953 plays alongside Don Byas who is on tour in Belgium.
In 1963 he forms a jazz octet with some of the best jazzmen of the time and which enjoyed a great success, in Belgium and abroad.
In 1964 he joins the BRT (Flemish radio-television) to become member of their orchestra, led by Francis Bay.
In 1965 the BRT sends him to Germany to represent Belgium in Stuttgart for a concert organised by the EBU ( European Broadcasting Union).
Since 1966 he leads his own Big Band.
He also was a member of Marc Moulin's PLACEBO.
In 1975 he formed his SAX COMBINATION, a quintet of saxophones plus a rhythm section, to demonstrate the various formulas of harmonisation for saxophones ensemble.
Among others he played with Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Horace Parlan, Hal Singer, Bill Coleman, Johnny Letman, "Big Chief", Russel Moore, Nathan Davis, Chris Wood, Benny Waters, Richard Boone....
Beside his jazz activities, Johnny Dover also worked in the pop field where he accompanied singer Caterina Valente during her world tours together with Stan Getz, Shirley Bassey, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Barry White, Barry Manilow and Julio Iglesias.
In 1990, with his "sax Combination" he represented Belgium in Irak.
He was a faithful participant in the annual Brussels Jazz Rally, for which he composed the jingle "Jazz Streets".
Multi-instrumentalist, soloist or groups member, composer and arranger, his improvisations on flute, tenor, soprano or barytone were always pleasant to follow no matter whether it was Dixieland, mainstream or modern.
Johnny DOVER died on October 28, 2002, after a long illness.