Gary Matsuura enjoys an active career as composer, arranger, music educator and performer of saxophones, flutes and clarinets. Equally at home in jazz and classical idioms, his compositions and arrangements have been performed by professional orchestras, big bands and school ensembles. He has served as music director, arranger and lead woodwind with the Tokyo Disneyland Band, and in the same capacity for other professional productions.
As a performer, Mr. Matsuura was a featured soloist in a performance with Celine Dion and Rosie O’Donnell in the Celine Dion Christmas Special “These Are Special Times” shown on CBS. In addition, he has played back-up to such entertainers as Helen O’Connell, the Temptations and the Four Tops. His saxophone, flute and clarinet artistry can be heard on CD recordings of various artists such as Phillip Keveren, Art Davis, Jan Jordan, Debbi Ebert and Kathy Williams. He is the founder of the CCA Jazz Quintet, a collaborative ensemble of composers/performers that are dedicated to creating new works for the idiom. Gary is also a member of the Saxophone Quartet of Mason, Matsuura, Vaccaro and Zick, performing new and established works for the saxophone quartet.
Gary has presented over 25 world premieres of various composers, including substantial works by the late Fred Katz (1919-2013).
A dedicated music educator, Mr. Matsuura has been teaching for over 45 years. He is in his 26th year of teaching at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, where he established the current curriculum for classical and jazz saxophone, jazz improvisation, woodwind pedagogy and directs the Chapman University Saxophone Ensemble. He is also a frequent adjudicator and clinician at scholastic jazz festivals. His present and former students have honored him by winning many prestigious awards and scholarships and by working as music educators and professional musicians touring the world. He is also the saxophone instructor at Irvine Valley College.
Gary Matsuura 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. He is also a woodwind product design consultant for protec.