Jimmy Emerzian is a freelance saxophonist, composer and arranger who has developed a voice of his own, while embracing the traditions set forth by musicians such as Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. Equally influenced by the bebop language of Charlie Parker, the minimalist simplicity of Jan Garbarek, and the rhythmic and harmonic intricacies of Armenian dance and church music, Jimmy has the ability to adapt to a variety of musical settings, and maintain an expressive point of view. In addition to leading his own groups, he has backed up, recorded, or performed with many well-known artists such as Jeff Jarvis, Conrad Herwig, Bob Sheppard, Bobby Shew, Bobby Rodriguez, Ingrid Jensen, Dan St. Marseille, Matthew Morrison, and A.J. McLean. He regularly performs with the Lou Giovannetti Big Band (directed by Jeff Jarvis), Pete Jacobs’ Wartime Radio Revue, and with groups led by fellow CSULB Alumni such as the Elliot Deutsch Big Band (which features Emerzian’s compositions and arrangements), the Eon Burchman Quartet, and the Brian Owen Septet. Jimmy has performed in major events throughout the United States and Europe, including the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, the NFL Play-offs in San Francisco, and the Backstreet Boys’ Unbreakable Tour DVD filming at London’s O2 Arena. He has contributed his unique sound to many recordings in the fields of commercial radio and television, big band swing, jazz fusion, and pop music, and is in demand as a live performer, arranger, guest clinician, and production consultant.
Jimmy earned his Master’s Degree in Music with a Concentration in Jazz Studies from CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory, where he was the Jazz Studies Teaching Assistant and a founding member of Jeff Jarvis’ award-winning Concert Jazz Orchestra. His Master’s Thesis, "Saxophonist Mark Turner’s Stylistic Assimilation of Warne Marsh and the Tristano School," has been in demand both by academic researchers and music fans alike. His other degrees come from UCLA (Bachelor’s Degree in Music), and Fresno City College (Associate of the Arts). He is the past Director of Jazz at Fresno’s Bullard High School, has been a resident saxophone instructor and jazz director for the Lake Sequoia Symphonic Music Camp and the Music Factor’s summer and after school programs, and has maintained a successful private lesson studio since 1998. Jimmy currently teaches Jazz Improvisation at California State University, Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.