Jaz Sawyer began playing drums at age of 2 in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, California. His musical studies have taken him through the music programs at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford Jazz Workshop and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Jaz possesses an eclectic and refined personal style of drumming that stems from his deep roots in his Classical, Jazz, West-African and Afro-Caribbean musical training. Jaz has worked with many notable artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln, George Benson, Bobby Hutcherson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jacky Terrasson, Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh & Friends in some of the world’s premier concert venues, including The Blue Note, The Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House.

Sawyer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New School/Mannes College (NYC), and a Master of Public Administration & Public Policy degree from the Metropolitan College of New York. Jaz is actively involved in music education in communities within New York, San Francisco Bay Area, New Orleans and Los Angeles.


  • Superstition, Netflix
  • The Chaperone, Sony Films
  • The Story of New Orleans, PB

Billboard Music Charts

  • 47 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums » George Benson, Standing Together (Songwriter for C-Smooth)
  • 40 Jazz Albums » Abbey Lincoln, over the years
  • 19 Jazz Albums » Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips, Moment to Moment
  • 10 Jazz Albums » Irvin Mayfield, love letter to New Orleans (Drummer)


  • Stanford University - Guest Lecturer
  • Yale University - Guest Lecturer
  • U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • University of California - UC Jazz Combos Residency Program
  • University of New Orleans - Guest Clinician
  • SFJAZZ Education Programs – Instructor, Clinician
  • Chandler Arizona Public Schools- Guest Clinician
  • Oakland School For the Arts - Former Percussion Director
  • Glide Memorial Church -Music Residency Program
  • Stanford Jazz workshop- Drum Faculty
  • Jazz Camp West- - Drum Faculty
  • KIPP Charter Schools (SF Bay Area) – Former Percussion Director