headshot photo of Gary Matsuura

Gary Matsuura

Saxophone, University Jazz Ensembles
College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Office Location: Oliphant Hall B03


Saxophonist, composer, arranger and music educator Gary Matsuura is equally at home in the jazz and classical idioms. His composition and arrangements have been performed by professional orchestras, big bands and school ensembles. He served as music director, arranger and lead woodwind for the Tokyo Disneyland Band and in the same capacity for other professional productions.

He has performed with Celine Dion, Rosie O’Donnell, Helen O’Connell, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Phillip Keveren, Dr. Art Davis, Jan Jordan, Debbie Ebert and Kathy Williams. He is the founder of the CCA Jazz Quintet and a member of the Saxophone Quartet of MASON, MATSUURA, VACCARO AND ZICK.

Gary has presented over 25 world premieres, including many works composed for him by Fred Katz.

He is in his 27th year of teaching at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University where he established the curriculum for classical and jazz saxophone, jazz improvisation, woodwind pedagogy as well as directing the Chapman University Saxophone Ensemble. Gary is also the saxophone instructor at Irvine Valley College.

His students are recipients of collegiate scholarships and winners of competitions. Former students are now working as professional musicians and educators.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton and the Diploma in Composition and Arranging from the Dick Grove School of Music. Important and influential teachers include:
Keith Clark - conducting, Allen Davis - Late 18th century counterpoint in the style of J.S.Bach, Jack Feierman - conducting, Patricia Garside - flute, Dick Grove - composition, arranging and jazz improvisation, Fred Katz - music and philosophy, John Lasser - clarinet, Mary Palchak -  flute and classical phrasing, Harvey Pittel - classical saxophone, Tom Ranier - saxophone and jazz improvisation, Tony Rodriquenz - saxophone, flute, clarinet and jazz improvisation, Stan Steele - high school band director, Mary Ellen Trefry - flute, Mike Vaccaro - saxophone, flute and clarinet and Phil Woods - saxophone and jazz improvisation.

Gary Matsuura is a Yamaha Performing Artist, playing exclusively Yamaha saxophones, flutes and clarinets. Gary is also a woodwind product design consultant for PROTEC.