Dr. Jaz Sawyer (with one “Z”) began playing drums at age of 2 in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, California. Several of 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, 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 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 Administration & Public Policy 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 communities within New York, The Bay Area, New Orleans and Los Angeles.