AAS Faculty and Staff

Johan Eriksson

Johan Eriksson

Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies

Office: Room 201, School of Music
Email: johan.eriksson@umontana.edu
Fax: 406-243-2441 (attn: Johan Eriksson)
Office Hours:

For appointment: Email at johan.eriksson@umontana.edu


Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies
School of Music
University of Montana


Applied Lessons Saxophones (100-500 level)
Saxophone Quartets
Jazz Combos
Advanced Improvisation
Woodwind Methods (saxophone portion)

Personal Summary

Johan Eriksson is a versatile performer specializing in jazz and classical genres. Originally from Onsala, Sweden, he is Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at the University of Montana. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist.

He is a member of several professional groups including the “Hemispheres Saxophone Quartet” (with Andrew Dahlke, Samuel Williams, Matthew Roehrich), “Three Rivers Saxophone Quartet” (with Jesse Dochnahl, Dylan Dwyer, Robert Prince), “Duo Nyans” (with Christopher Kirkpatrick) and “UMF Woodwind Quintet” (with Margaret Schuberg, Maxine Ramey, Christopher Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Gookin-Cavanaugh). He has recently performed internationally in China, Canada and Sweden with both classical and jazz groups.

Johan was the first performer to be invited as both the classical and the jazz artist at the University of Louisville Saxophone Festival. Johan has performed at National Conferences held at the Kansas University, University of Idaho, University of Illinois, Oklahoma State University, California State University-Long Beach, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, University of South Carolina, and the University of North Texas. He 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 Dana Landry, Jim White and David Caffey. While at UNC, he 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 settings, 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 five 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, University of New Mexico 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.


Doctor of Arts (D.A Music), University of Northern Colorado - Performance, Minor in Music Theory, Teaching Assistant in the Jazz Department
Masters of Music (M.M), University of Northern Illinois, Jazz Pedagogy, Teaching Assistant in the Woodwind Department
Bachelor of Music (B.M), University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Performance
Bachelor of Music (B.M, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Jazz Studies, Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in Jazz Area
Aranas Gymnasium, Estetiska Program - Musik (Artist Program - Music), Kungsbacka, Sweden

Research Interests

Crossover saxophone pedagogy in classical and jazz (finding the most efficient strategies for teaching both genres to the same student).
Classical clarinet and saxophone repertoire.
Jazz improvisation techniques (harmony/rhythm).


Recent Projects:

Recording jazz/electronica album with producer Jake Syrenne, 2019
Releasing album "Debut" of new clarinet and saxophone music with Duo Nyans, 2019
Performance tour with Duo Nyans, 2018
Performance tour with Steve Kovalcheck in Sweden, 2016, 2018
Hemisphere Saxophone Quartet China tour in May of 2015, 2017
Arranging rock and pop music for woodwind quintet and voice for club concerts 2015

Field of Study

Saxophone Performance
Saxophone Pedagogy
Saxophone Chamber Music
Saxophone Jazz Studies
Jazz Improvisation
Jazz Composition/Arranging
Music Theory
Commercial Music


"Debut", Duo Nyans, BandCamp, 2019

Dissertation: “Finding Pedagogical Strategies for Combined Jazz and Classical Saxophone Applied Studies at the College Level: Based on interviews with Branford Marsalis, Donald Sinta, Steve Duke, Andrew Bishop, Rick VanMatre, Thomas Walsh, Thomas Bergeron, Gunnar Mossblad and James Riggs”, published through University of Northern Colorado Publications, 2012.

"Into the Open", Fred Hess Big Band, Allison Records 2011

"Life of Matteo De Perugia"

Early Music Colorado Quarterly Journal, 2009

"Hold On", Fred Hess Big Band, Dazzle Records 2009



University of Montana - Promotion to Tenure, 2016
Radio Nostalgi, Sweden - Diploma of Honor "For His Work Keeping Jazz Vibrant in Sweden", 2016
University of Montana - Grant "Tour of Western and Southern Sweden", 2016
University of Montana - Promotion to Associate Professor, 2015
United States State Department - Grant "Artist Exchange for Hemispheres Quartet, Tour of China", 2015
University of Montana - Merit Award 2014
University of Montana - Grant "Audio Recording for New Clarinet and Saxophone Music", 2013
University of Montana - Visiting Scholar Grant - Dan Gailey, 2012
University of Montana - Visiting Scholar Grant - Steve Kovalcheck, 2011
Graduated Summa Cum Laude, University of Northern Colorado, 2012
Winner of Southard Music Competition, 2009
Finalist in Southard Competition, 2008
President of UNC’s IAJE Chapter (Largest student chapter in the world), 2007-2008
Performed with Banda Rika Salsa Band, voted best salsa band in Chicago 2002, and won ”Best Suburban Latin Band” by Suburban Nightlife 2003
Graduated Cum Laude, Northern Illinois University, 2003​
Outstanding Soloist Elmhurst Jazz Festival, 2002
Outstanding Soloist Charlotte Jazz Festival, 2001
Graduated Magna Cum Laude from UNCG, 2001
Winner of MENC’s North Carolina Division for Chamber Groups, with UNCG Saxophone Quartet I, 2000
Performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC with the UNC-Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, 2000
Alpha Lambda Delta (Academic Honor Society)
Pi Kappa Lambda (Academic Honor Society)
Pi Kappa Kappa (Music Honor Society)


Specialized Skills

Equally proficient in jazz and classical performance styles. 
Done exhaustive research on classical and jazz crossover pedagogy. 
Performs on all saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, bari), clarinet, and flute. 
Composes and arranges in commercial styles. 

Home Department

School of Music 

Area of Expertise

Commercial Music; Jazz Composition/Arranging; Jazz Improvisation; Music Theory; Saxophone Chamber Music; Saxophone Jazz Studies; Saxophone Pedagogy; Saxophone Performance

Teaching Experience

Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at the University of Montana University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 2009-present
UM Saxophone Studio: Jazz and Classical, 2009-present
UM Saxophone Quartets, 2009-present
UM Jazz Combo Program, 2009-present
Jazz History lecture course, 2009-2013
UM Online Jazz History course, 2009-2010
Woodwind Techniques course: Saxophone, 2009-present
UM Summer Music Camp Faculty, 2009-present

Graduate Assistant for Northern Colorado University Jazz Department:Northern Colorado University, Greeley, CO, 2007-2009
Director of Jazz Lab Band V, 2008-2009
Director of Jazz Combo VI, 2007-2008
Substitute teaching of Jazz Lab Band III, 2007-2008
Saxophone Studio Substitute Instructor, 2008-2009
Music Theory Substitute Instructor, 2008-2009
Aural Skills Substitute Instructor, 2008-2009

Assistant High School Bands Director Dekalb High School, district 428, Dekalb IL
Assistant Jazz Ensemble Director, 2005-2007
Assistant Jazz Lab Band Director, 2005-2007
Concert Band Woodwind Sectionals, 2005-2007
Wind Ensemble Sectionals, 2005-2007
Wind Ensemble Saxophone Quartet Coach, 2005-2007

Middle School Jazz Band and Concert Bands Director Clinton-Rosette Middle School, district 428, Dekalb IL Concert Band Director: 2004-2007
Sixth grade Concert Band Director
Seventh grade Concert Band Director
Eighth grade Concert Band Director
Private Lessons Instructor to all woodwind students (approximately 80 students) Jazz Band Director, 2004-2007 Jazz Ensemble, seventh and eighth grade
Blues Lab Band, sixth and seventh grade

Middle School Jazz Band Director Huntley Middle School, district 428, Dekalb IL Jazz Ensemble Director, 2002-2007 General Music Instructor

Cortland Elementary School, district 428, Cortland, IL General Music Instructor, Kindergarten through fifth grade, 2006-2007 (approximately 300 students)

Band and Choir Director Cornerstone Christian Academy, Dekalb/Sycamore, IL Band Director, 2003-2004
Middle School Concert Band Director, 2003-2004 
High School Concert Band Director Choir Director, 2003-2004
High School Choir Director, 2003-2004

Teaching Assistant Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL Teaching Assistant for the Woodwinds Department: Instructor for Saxophone Quartets, 2001-2003
Instructor for Undergraduate Saxophone Studio (pre-majors and non-majors), 2001-2003
Woodwind Convocation Coordinator, 2001-2003
Jazz Combo Instructor at Summer Jazz Camps, 2001-2004

Community Music Program Instructor Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts, Dekalb, IL Associate Level Instructor:
Private Studio Instructor: Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, 2002-2006
Jazz Audition Big Band, 2003-2007
Instructor and Creator of Jazz Arranging/Composing Courses I and II, 2003-2006
Instructor of Jazz Improvisation Courses I and II, 2003-2006
Instructor and Creator of Jazz Theory Course, 2004
Director of Jazz Combos Program, 2002-2006

Related Teaching Experience:
Western Montana State Music Festival Adjudication, Helena, MT, 2016
Woodwind Masterclass Bozeman High School, 2016
Woodwind Masterclass Livingstone Highschool, 2016
MTNA Competition Judge, Missoula, MT, 2016
UM All-Star Band Weekend – Instructor, Missoula, MT 2015
Western Montana State Music Festival, Missoula, MT 2015
Great Falls District Music Festival, Great Falls, MT 2015
Montana District #1 Music Festival, Kalispell, 2014
UM Concert Band Festival Adjudication, Missoula, MT 2014
UM All-Star Band Weekend – Instructor, Missoula, MT 2014
Western Montana State Music Festival Adjudication, Helena, Mt 2014
Instructor and Guest Artist for the International Music Camp, 2012-2016
West Montana State Music Festival Adjudication, Missoula, MT 2013
Graduate student recruitment University of Oregon, 2013

Colombia Falls Music Educators Workshop, 2013
High Schools and Middle Schools Outreach, Billings, MT, 2013
Faculty on UM Jazz Days, Missoula, MT, 2013
Adjudicator for Billings Music Festival, 2012
Adjudicator for Butte Music Festival, 2012
Woodwind Masterclass Hellgate High School, 2012
Jazz Masterclass Hellgate High School, 2012
Woodwind Masterclass Sentinel High School, 2012
Woodwind Masterclass Big Sky High School, 2012
Adjudicator for the Montana All State Festival, 2011
Adjudicator for the Great Falls District Music Festival, 2011
Woodwind Masterclass Great Falls High School, 2011
Woodwind Masterclass C M Russell High School, 2011
Wind Ensemble Masterclass Kalispell High School, 2011
Wind Ensemble Masterclass Spokane High School, 2011
Wind Ensemble Masterclass Coeur d’Alene High School, 2011
Adjudicator for the Missoula District Music Festival, 2010
Adjudicator for the Great Falls District Music Festival, 2010
Adjudicator for the UM Concert Band Festival, 2010
Woodwind Masterclass Bozeman High School, 2010
Jazz Masterclass Thompson Fall High School, 2010
Jazz Masterclass Ronan High School, 2010
Jazz Masterclass Arlee High School, 2010
Jazz Masterclass Malta High School, 2010
Adjudicator for the All-State Montana Saxophone Section, 2010
Instructor of the Saxophone Sectionals with Colorado All-State Bands, 2008
Adjudicator for the Sycamore District Music Festival, soloists-chamber groups, 2003-2006
Adjudicator in the Illinois District 8 Jazz Auditions, saxophones, 2003-2006
Adjudicator for the Dekalb High School Jazz Ensemble Festival, 2003
Private Lessons Instructor, CountrySide Music, Elburn, IL
Private Studio Instructor : Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, 2002-2004
Imperial School of Music, Geneva IL Private Studio Instructor: Saxophone, 2003-2004
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC Jazz Combo III, 2000-2001
Summer Band Camp Instructor, 1999-2001


Professional Experience

International/National – Groups/Artists
Matt Wilson
Ken Filiano
Ron Miles
Dan Nimmer
“Blue” Lou Marini
John Corgiliano
Glen Cortese
Steve Wilson
Lee Konitz
Grace Kelly
Shelly Berg
Terell Stafford
Azar Lawrence
Donny McCaslin
J Johnathan Blake
Boris Kozlov
Greg Gatien
Michael Helm
Matt Patnode
Jenelle Orcherton
Anna Penno
Dean McNeill
Ronnie Ingell
Jessie Dietschi
Graydon Cramer
Trist Curless
Marshall Sealy
Anthony Williams
Mike Hall
Paul Budde
Larry Griffin
Mitch Martin
Mike Sakash
Paul McKee
Steve Roach
Michael Kocour
Chris Smith
Rajung Yang
Chang Su
Ching-Hsuan Wang
Loren Stillman

Denver – Groups/Artists
Fred Hess Big Band
Colorado Jazz Orchestra
Ninth and Lincoln Jazz Orchestra
Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra
Brad Goode
John Gunther
Fred Hess
Al Hood
Paul Romaine
Tyler Gilmore
Dana Landry
Jim White
Erik Applegate
Dave Stamps
Andrew Dahlke
Peter Sommers
Mark Sabbetela
Mark Harris
Wil Swindler 
Steve Kovalcheck

Chicago – Groups/Artists
Chicago Chamber Singers (soprano saxophone soloist) Illinois Symphony Orchestra Rockford Symphony Orchestra Banda Rika Salsa Band
Rhythm Rockets Swing Band Doug Stone
Greg Ward
Nick Fryer
Joey Sellers
Marlene Rosenberg
Fareed Haque
Ron Carter
Tom Garling
Willie Pickens
Orlando Cotto
Todd Kelly

Montana – Groups/Artists
Margaret Schuberg
Maxine Ramey
Craig Hall
Christopher Hahn
David Morgenroth
Lance Boyd
Robert Ledbetter
Mike Freemole
Christopher Kirkpatrick
Jennifer Cavanaugh
James Smart
Robert Tapper
Lance Boyd
Jesse Dochnahl
Eden Atwood
Reverend Slanky
Donna Smith Quartet 
Fern Glass
David Cody 
Stephen Kalm 
Kimberly James 
Creighton James
Lori Gray
Anne Basinski 
Brook Florence 
Chuck Florence 
Missoula Symphony Orchestra 
Barbara Blegen 
Dorothy Peterson 
Linda Stratton
Helena Symphony Orchestra 
Heather Barnes 

North Carolina – Groups/Artists
North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
Tom Taylor
John Salmon
Craig Whittaker
Steve Haines

Cats (Chicago)
Les Miserables (Chicago)
Hello Dolly (Chicago)
Guys and Dolls (Chicago)
Bye Bye Birdie (Chicago)

International Experience

Performed in:
Czech Republic



Yamaha Performing Artist
North American Saxophone Alliance
Music Teachers' National Association


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Muay Thai Boxing
Downhill Skiing