Andrew Nathaniel White III, the only child of Reverend Doctor and Mrs. Andrew White, was born in Washington, D.C. In 1946 the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Rev. White was the president of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Andrew attended Carter-Lawrence Elementary and Cameron Junior and High Schools. While a student at Cameron High School, he played oboe and English horn in the Tennessee State University band. He developed expertise early and excelled on several instruments, including soprano and alto sax, oboe, English horn, upright bass, and the piano. After graduating from Cameron in 1960, White enrolled in Howard University, earning a bachelor’s degree in music in 1964. While attending Howard, he played saxophone with the J.F.K. Quintet. He was awarded a John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship and moved to Paris, France, where he studied the oboe at the Paris Conservatory in 1964-65. He received Rockefeller Foundation grants for the period 1965-67 while at the Center of Creative and Performing Arts, State University of New York, Buffalo.
During his career, White played oboe, electric bass guitar, and saxophone with entertainers and groups, including Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Weather Report, the American Ballet Theater, and the Fifth Dimension. White, a nationally renowned jazz and classical musician and composer, has transcribed over eleven hundred works of jazz saxophonists, including more than seven hundred John Coltrane solos. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as at numerous other venues across the United States and Europe. In 1985 the Washington, D.C., Area Music Awards honored him with its Special Achievement Award. After authoring several novels and music instruction manuals, in 2001 White released his autobiography, Everybody Loves the Sugar, through his own publishing company. The International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England, named him International Musician of 2003 for the significance of his transcriptions to jazz historiography. For his outstanding cultural contributions, the French Society of Arts, Sciences, and Letters awarded Andrew (an honorary French citizen) the Diplôme de Grande Médaille de Vermeil in May 2006.
White married Jocelyne Henriette Jeannine Uhl of France on December 25, 1969, in Washington, D.C. He continues to perform and compose and resides in the District of Columbia and Nashville.