Johan Eriksson is a versatile performer who is comfortable in the jazz club as well as in the symphony hall. Originally from the west coast of Sweden, he is currently adjunct assistant professor of saxophone and Jazz Studies at the University of Montana. Johan teaches all UM saxophonists, saxophone quartets, jazz combos, a history of jazz course, and the saxophone portion of “Woodwind Methods”. His students are well rounded musicians that are able to fit into any musical situation.
Johan has recorded two CDs with the Fred Hess Big Band released by Dazzle Records. This group includes Downbeat Magazine Award Winner Matt Wilson on drums, saxophonist John Gunther (Maria Schneider Orchestra, Village Vanguard Orchestra), Ron Miles (Ellington Orchestra, “Finding Forrester” soundtrack) and other top jazz players from around the country.
Johan is currently finishing a doctoral degree in saxophone pedagogy/performance from the University of Northern Colorado. While in Denver he performed with ASCAP “Emerging Jazz Composer/Arranger” award winner Tyler Gilmore’s group “9th and Lincoln Big Band”, a group featuring the top musicians of Denver. He was also a member of the Colorado Jazz Orchestra led by great pianist Dana Landry, drummer phenomenon Jim White and composer David Caffey. While at UNC, he was a member of “UNC Lab Band One” which often wins the Downbeat poll for best college big band and/or outstanding college big band performance. He also performed with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra.
Previous to Denver, Johan spent seven years in Chicago performing in both jazz and classical contexts. Some of these include the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Singers (saxophone soloist), Roosevelt Wind Ensemble, with “Blue” Lou Marini (Blues Brother’s movie/soundtrack), Bandarika Salsa Band (voted best Salsa group in Chicago) and numerous others.
Dedicated to music education, Johan spent four years as a band director in Illinois and has taught public school kindergarten through 12th grade music. His students have won scholarships at prestigious schools such as the University of Michigan, Juilliard Conservatory, Lawrence Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, North Texas University, Cincinnati Conservatory, Michigan State University, University of Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois University and the New England Conservatory.
Johan has performed alongside distinguished musicians Dee Dee Bridgewater, “Blue” Lou Marini, Slide Hampton, Hamiet Bluiett, Ron Carter, Dan Nimmer, Fareed Hague, Willie Pickens, John Corigliano, Fred Wesley, Rufus Reid, Steve Turre, Greg Gisberg, Randy Brecker, Brad Goode, Greg Ward, Brice Winston, Marlene Rosenberg, Art Davis, Boris Kozlov, Orlando Cotto, Liam Teague, Andrew Dahlke, Steve Duke, Harry Begian, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Holman, Ingrid Jensen, Chris Potter, Johnathan Blake, and Donny McCaslin.
Johan is a member of the UM Woodwind Faculty Woodwind Quintet with Maxine Ramey, Margaret Schuberg, Jennifer Cavanaugh and Christopher Kirkpatrick.
UM Saxophone Studio
Thank you for your interest in the saxophone studio at the University of Montana. The studio offers a supportive but demanding environment where you can grow into becoming a high-class performer, composer and educator. Most saxophonists at UM study both classical and jazz in order to become versatile, working musicians. Saxophonists at UM can partake in weekly lessons, saxophone quartets, jazz combos, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, the laptop ensemble and many others musical opportunities. There are also multiple opportunities in Missoula to perform in clubs, coffee shops, restaurants and other venues. If you have questions about how to become part of the UM saxophone family, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"UM saxophonist Jake Syrenne playing live on the radio with the UM Vanguard Combo"
Johan has a double Bachelors degree in Saxophone and Jazz Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, where he was a teaching assistant in the saxophone area. He is finishing up his doctoral degree in Saxophone Performance/Pedagogy with a minor in music theory from the University of Northern Colorado, where he was a graduate assistant in the Jazz Studies area.