John Mills

John Mills

Professor of Jazz Composition, Jazz Saxophone

John Mills has enjoyed a long career as a composer/arranger and recording saxophonist across a wide spectrum of jazz and other musical genres.

John has performed in concert with such jazz luminaries as Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, R&B icons including Jimmie Vaughan, Dr. John, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, and such popular music stars as Paul Simon, Nora Jones, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt. He has also scored orchestral arrangements for such diverse artists as Asleep at the Wheel, Rosanne Cash, Indigo Girls and David Byrne.

Mills has appeared on numerous Austin City Limits PBS television broadcasts over the years, including performances with Ray Benson, Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett, and composed the opening theme for one of that popular series’ early seasons. He participated in Grammy-nominated Contemporary Blues recordings by Jimmie Vaughan (2020) and Ruthie Foster (2021).

John has produced three CDs for Fable Records under his own name: Caffeine Dreams, Invisible Designs and Flying Blind, all of which feature exclusively his original compositions. He was awarded First Prize in the 2008 ArtEZ Jazz Composition in the Netherlands, ISJAC’s  2019 SONIC Award for Best Big Band Composition and Third Prize in the 2019 Enno Linnovalli Jazz Composition Contest in Helsinki, Finland.

John Mills is also long-time baritone saxophonist and songwriter for The Texas Horns, who have recorded on numerous acclaimed recordings in the blues genre, and have appeared at major festivals coast to coast in the U.S as well as in Canada and Europe. He and his fellow members of The Texas Horns were named 2020 Horn Players of the Year by Living Blues Magazine.

Mills has given masterclasses in countries including Italy, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Slovenia, Canada, Guatemala and Chile.


MUS 343J 
Studio Arranging

MUS 343J 
History of Jazz

MUS 387L 
Jazz Perspectives

MUS 387L 
Jazz Ensemble Literature

Flying Blind 
John Mills Times Ten
Fable Records

Get Here Quick
The Texas Horns  
Severn Records

Live at the Paramount
Ruthie Foster Big Band
(2021 Grammy Nomination - Contemporary Blues)

Gamelan Road
CPT Kirk and the Devil Horns
RMG Records

Baby, Please Come Home
Jimmie Vaughan  
(2020 Grammy Nomination - Contemporary Blues)

Contact Information


Campus location
MRH 6.248


Teaching Areas

Jazz Saxophone
Jazz Composition


Doctor of Musical Arts
The University of Texas at Austin

Master of Music
Texas State University

Bachelor of Arts
The University of Texas at Austin