John Gunther
Professor of Jazz Studies (Saxophones, Clarinet, Flute) • Director, Thompson Jazz Studies Program
Jazz studies

John Gunther is a composer and multi-instrumentalist playing saxophones, clarinet and flute. With a restless musical spirit, he enjoys exploring all forms of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, as well as classical music, world music and experimental electronic music. Gunther has performed or recorded with many notable jazz artists including Dave Douglas, Ron Miles, Christian McBride, Bobby Watson, Wallace Roney, Larry Goldings, Tom Harrel, Dewey Redman, Joe Williams, The Woody Herman Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and The Maria Schneider Orchestra. His most recent recording, “Safari Trio” with Brad Shepik and John Hadfield, can be found on the Dazzle Jazz Record Label and his website.

As part of New York City’s “downtown” music scene for many years, Gunther produced five recordings for Creative Improvised Music Projects (CIMP) and is co-founder of the contemporary jazz ensembles “Spooky Actions” and “Convergence.” In 2007, he received an Innovative Seed Grant to create the Boulder Laptop Orchestra (BLOrk) and to further explore the intersection of music, performance, art and technology. Gunther’s work with BLOrk has led to further collaboration with the CU Boulder STEM program exploring informal science education through the arts. 

Gunther studied with saxophonists Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Dave Liebman, Frank Tiberi, Gary Keller and Joe Viola. He earned a PhD from New York University where his research examined incorporating techniques of serial music with improvisation; he earned a master’s degree at the University of Miami and a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music.

Thompson Jazz Studies Program Jazz saxophone studio