Chair, Jazz Studies Department
Division: Contemporary Music
Program: Jazz Studies
Bowen H. "Buzz" and Barbara M. McCoy Endowed Chair in Jazz, Honoring President Steven B. Sample
In the jazz world, Bob Mintzer is a household name, usually associated with being a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger, leader of a Grammy winning big band, member of the Yellowjackets and educator.
Bob has written over 200 big band arrangements spanning a 34-year career, many of which are performed all over the world by both student and pro bands. His own big band has been nominated for four Grammy awards and won a Grammy for best large jazz ensemble recording in 2001 with Homage to Count Basie on the DMP label. Bob has recorded 26 solo recordings with both big band and small jazz ensembles. He is an 18-year member of the Grammy award winning band Yellowjackets, and has recorded 12 CDs with them. Bob tours four months out of the year with the Yellowjackets. Bob has published four jazz etude books (Belwin Jazz), a solo transcription book (Belwin Jazz), a saxophone method book (Kendor Music), four saxophone quartets (Kendor Music), close to 200 big band arrangements (Kendor Music, Belwin Jazz) and has composed several pieces for orchestra. His “Rhythm of the Americas” piece for sax quartet and orchestra (or concert band) was premiered in 2001 by the American Saxophone Quartet and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. His “Concertino for Tenor Saxophone, Strings and Winds” was premiered in NYC by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble in 1992.
Bob has had a diverse career as a freelance musician in New York City. He has recorded with people such as Steve Winwood, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin and Queen. He’s toured with Buddy Rich, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Jaco Pastorius, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. He’s also worked with the New York Philharmonic and America Ballet Theatre. Bob has been on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music. Annually, he performs 20 workshops at universities across the globe.