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"Explosive, yet tactically precise…” 

- Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans



Jaz Sawyer (with one “Z”) began playing drums at an early age in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Several of Jaz's early mentors and teachers include Eddie Marshall, John Santos, 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, SF 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 with musical training in Classical, Jazz, and Afro-Caribbean styles. Jaz has worked with many notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln, George Benson, Bobby Hutcherson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Weston, Phil Lesh & Friends, Herb Alpert, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, M'Lumbo and others in the world’s premier concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Blue Note, Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House, The Concertgebouw and Lincoln Center.


As an educator, Dr. Sawyer has designed and facilitated music education programs through Clinics, Master Classes, and Workshops. Below are some music institutions Jaz has worked with:

California State University, Fresno | drum faculty
University of California Berkeley | guest clinician/lecturer 
Stanford Jazz Workshop | drum faculty
Percussion Arts Society | guest clinician
Museum of African Diaspora | guest lecturer
California Jazz Conservatory | drum faculty
Oakland Public Conservatory of Music | music instructor
Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Essential Ellington program
Harmony Project | percussion instructor 
Jazz Camp West | drum faculty
Sam Ash Music | guest clinician
Yale University | guest clinician
KIPP Charter Schools | percussion director
Oakland School For the Arts | percussion director
SF School of the Arts | guest clinician
Saint Ignatius High School | guest clinician
Jazz & Democracy | guest clinician
Long Island City College | guest clinician/lecturer 
Stanford University | guest clinician/lecturer 
SFJAZZ Education Programs | guest clinician
University of New Orleans | guest clinician/lecturer 
Chandler Arizona Public Schools | guest clinician



Chair, Education Committee/Guest Music Instructor -

Office of Former CA State Senator Holly J. Mitchell 

Jazz Ambassador, U.S. Embassy/Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Chair/Public Arts Commissioner, City of South Pasadena

Ombudsman, New York Department of Homeless Services 



Grammy U Mentor, The Recording Academy 

Community Outreach, Urban League of Los Angeles
Youth Events/Homeless Prevention, United Way of LA 
Annual Holiday Yo
uth Events, Boys & Girls Club of LA

Music Offering, Soledad O'Brian/Starfish Media Group 

Food Server, Glide Memorial Church


Sten Grove Festival - Virtual Education Program "Drumming Styles"

Black History Month: ”New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz"
The Importance of Scholarly Writing,

Fundamental Research Methodology,

Approaches to Doctoral Research,

Doctor of Education
Organizational Leadership 
Northcentral University

Master of Public Administration and Public Policy 
Metropolitan College of New York
Bachelor of Fine Arts
The New School University
Mentoring Supervisor Certificate 
Big Brothers Big Sisters NY/Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service

Publisher/Writer, Pursuance Music/Broadcast Music, Inc.

The Impact of Employee Participation in Employer Funded - Education/Barriers to Career Growth -


Advisory Board, California Jazz Conservatory
Advisory Board, Oakland Public Conservatory
Advisory Board, Dillard University Institute of Jazz

Recording Academy, Voting Member (LA Chapter)
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

ResearchGate, Researcher/Contributor

Research Consultant, Jazz In the Middle (JIM) Education Program, Are You Listening PSA, SFJAZZ 
New Orleans, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Researcher/Consultant, Jazz In the Middle (JIM) 

Education Program, Are You Listening PSA,  SFJAZZ 
New Orleans, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Orchestral composition, Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc

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