- Professor of Jazz Composition, Jazz Saxophone
- Jazz Composition
- Jazz Saxophone
Dr. John Mills is a saxophonist and composer/arranger based in Austin, Texas, where he pursues a wide range of concert and recording projects within the jazz idiom and beyond. He has enjoyed the opportunity to perform with such internationally prominent jazz artists as Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Butch Miles, Kenny Wheeler and Maria Schneider during his career. John currently leads the high-energy, ten-piece fusion ensemble Times Ten, which features his compositions and whose acclaimed first CD, Caffeine Dreams, is available on Fable Records.
Outside of the jazz realm he has worked on stage or in the recording studio with such R&B icons as Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John and Aretha Franklin, alternative pop artists David Byrne and Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead), and country stars including Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Lyle Lovett, and Willie Nelson. His orchestral arrangements for major artists such as these have been performed by symphonies across the U.S. and abroad.
John has composed extensively for both professional and university jazz ensembles, including a number of works published by Walrus Music. He was awarded First Prize at the 2008 ArtEZ International Jazz Composition Contest in the Netherlands for If Memory Serves, and in 2009 he collaborated with UT Professor Jeff Hellmer to score the first full orchestration of Duke Ellington’s unfinished folk-opera, Queenie Pie.
Among his educational activities, Dr. Mills has presented jazz master classes at the Royal Danish Academy in Aarhus, the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, the University of Greifswald (Germany) and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies in the Butler School of Music, where he teaches jazz saxophone, composition, arranging and history.