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Artist Highlight – Dann Zinn

When he is not recording and gigging, Zinn is teaching the best and the brightest jazz musicians in the country. He is the Director of Jazz Studies at the California State University East Bay, the Director of the San Francisco Jazz Festival High School All Star Combo, on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, The California Jazz Conservatory, and taught at the Brubeck Institute. Zinn’s private studio is home to a list of multiple winners of full scholarships to schools such as the Boston Berklee School of Music, winners of the Jimmy Lyons Award, winners of the Downbeat best high school and college musician awards, winners of Thelonious Monk Institute scholarships, Grammy Band participants, and countless all star band members for famous jazz festivals. Some of his students include Dayna Stephens, Mark Zelesky, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Albert Baliwas, Jill Ryan, Natalie Cressman, Remy LeBoef, Pat Carroll, Hitomi Oba, Jesse Scheinen, Ben Flocks, and Kenny Shanker. He has directed Ambrose Akinmusire, Justin Brown, and Elena Pinderhughes in student ensembles.

Dann Zinn teaches saxophone and leads the UC Jazz Intermediate Combo III Ensemble

Dann Zinn https://www.dannzinn.com/
Dann Zinn https://www.dannzinn.com/

Dann Zinn plays saxophones, flutes, and various ethnic flutes. He has recorded or performed with Joe Henderson, Russell Ferrante (from The Yellow Jackets), Chuck Findley (The Tonight Show), Jeff Tain Watts, Freddie Hubbard, Mary Wells, and Martha and the Vandellas, among many others. 

Dann’s first solo album of original music, Ten Songs, has garnered critical acclaim through the U.S. and Europe from publications such as Jazz Times and JazzIz. Current projects include original world fusion band Jack, jazz group The Deadly Zinns, and free improv band Spontanous Burstation. 

Dann Zinn performs and teaches a blend of processed and original jazz and world music

He tours throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Locally, he has been featured at the Monterey Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s Nightspot, and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center among countless others.  

His first solo recording of original music, Ten Songs, has garnered critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and Europe from such prestigious publications as Jazz Times and JazzIz. Other performances include numerous television, radio, and multi media projects, such as Tiger Woods and John Madden video games, Kangaroddy children show on PBS, and a Willie Mays special on CBS. 

He is also working on a series of tone and technique books which present various systems for organizing scales and related subjects.

In addition to teaching the UC Jazz Intermediate Combo III, Dann has taught saxophone, big bands, jazz combos, history of jazz, history of rock and roll, music appreciation, and applied woodwind classes at Cal State University, East Bay for ten years. He is also on the faculty of the Dave Brubeck Institute and the Jazz School. Dann has received two teacher recognition awards from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and has been selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2005.Current projects include original world fusion band Jack, jazz group The Deadly Zinns, and free improv band Spontanous Burstation.