Johan Eriksson is a versatile performer who is comfortable in the jazz club as well as in the symphony hall. Originally from Onsala, Sweden, he is Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at the University of Montana. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Johan teaches 14-16 saxophone music majors, 3 saxophone quartets, 2 jazz combos, history of jazz, advanced jazz improvisation, 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 holds a D.M.A 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 played lead alto with the “UNC Lab Band One” a frequent winner 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, including the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Singers (saxophone soloist), Roosevelt Wind Ensemble, “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, University of Oregon, 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, Harry Begian, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Holman, Ingrid Jensen, Chris Potter, Johnathan Blake, Paul McKee, Matt Wilson, Ron Miles, Peter Sommer, Dominic Lalli, Steve Roach, Mike Sakash, Lee Konitz, Grace Kelly, Donny McCaslin, and many others.
Johan is a member of the UM Woodwind Faculty Woodwind Quintet with Maxine Ramey, Margaret Schuberg, Jennifer Cavanaugh and Christopher Kirkpatrick. He is a frequent performer at the North American Saxophone Alliance National Conferences.
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 ensemble, concert band, marching band, jazz big bands, and many other 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 holds a double Bachelors degree in Saxophone Performance and Jazz Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, where he was taught in the saxophone area, and a Doctoral degree in Saxophone Performance/Pedagogy with a Minor in Music Theory from the University of Northern Colorado, where he taught in the Jazz Studies area.