Dr. Jaz Sawyer, MPA ’06…Drummer, Educator and Bandleader!
Most of the world knows Jaz (with one “Z”) as a renowned drummer. From collaborations with some of the world’s most excellent, award-winning musicians to an extensive catalog of his own, Jaz has made his mark on the music scene.
Though the music was mostly the endgame for Jaz, teaching comes naturally. As an Educator, Dr. Sawyer has designed and facilitated music education programs for clinics, master classes and workshops at universities like California State, Berkley, Yale, New Orleans and Stanford, a variety of conservatories, public schools and high schools in New York and Arizona and last but not least, Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Dr. Jaz Sawyer looks back at his degree from MCNY and says, “The value of Purpose-Centered Education can’t be measured as it seeps into everything that I do.”
A sense of PURPOSE is present in his music and teaching. For example, on his album One Day with celebrated poet Tongo Eisen-Martin, the sounds of social justice, past and present, ring through in rhythm and words.
“During my internship, while in the MPA graduate program at MCNY, I worked with The City of New York Human Resources Administration,” said Dr. Jaz Sawyer, “Upon graduation I worked for Catholic Charities in Jamaica Queens and the Department of Homeless Services during my early Obama days. These organizations worked hard toward one common goal; to serve the public with passion and dignity. Is there anything more important? This is how I serve music and education–always with passion and dignity.”
More About Dr. Jaz Sawyer
Sawyer began playing drums at age of 2 in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, California. Jaz’s early mentors and teachers include Eddie Marshall, John Santos, Donald Bailey, Michael Sipro, Ed Kelly, Mondre Moffatt and Raymond Froehlich (SF Symphony). Jaz’s musical studies have taken him through music programs at the Ruth Asawa School of The Arts, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Michael Carvin School of Drumming and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
Dr. Sawyer possesses an eclectic and refined personal style of drumming that stems from his deep roots in his Classical, Jazz, West-African and Afro-Caribbean musical training. Jaz has worked with many notable artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln, George Benson, Bobby Hutcherson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Weston and Phil Lesh & Friends in some of the world’s premier concert venues, including The Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House.
Jaz has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (The New School/Mannes College), a Master of Public Affairs and Administration degree (Metropolitan College of New York), and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership (Northcentral University). Dr. Sawyer is actively involved with music education in New York, The Bay Area, New Orleans and Los Angeles communities.
On September 28, 2022, Jaz Sawyer will back in New York performing at Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center with Joe Farnsworth to celebrate the 1959 joint Mercury studio album “Rich Vs. Roach” by master drummers Buddy Rich and Max Roach. They will be joined by premier musicians Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard, Jennifer Vincent, and John Chin.
For more information go to Jazz.org.