"Explosive, yet tactically precise…” 

- Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans


Doctor of Education
Organizational Leadership 
Northcentral University

Master of Public Administration 
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
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 with musical training in Classical, Jazz, West-African 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, and M'Lumbo in some of the world’s premier concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Blue Note, Village Vanguard,  Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House and Lincoln Center.

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. 


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:
The Recording Academy | GrammyU Mentor 
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
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 instructor
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