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Rahsaan Barber

Jazz Saxophonist & Composer

Rahsaan Barber

Recipient Information


Nashville, Tennessee


Jazz Saxophone

Project Title

Everyday Magic

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Tours Grant

Grant Amount



About the Artist

Since earning a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 2005, Rahsaan Barber has set out on a singular path of musical excellence in performance, composition, education and entrepreneurship. Residing proudly in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, Barber enjoys a career that encompasses performing and recording in an ever-expanding range of musical genres including jazz – his “first love” – as well as classical, blues, funk, fusion, soul, Latin and World music. Rahsaan’s passionate and studious approach to music-making has garnered professional appearances onstage with heavyweights of all genres including Kelly Clarkson, Gladys Knight, Winard Harper, Meghan Trainor, Martina McBride,Chester Thompson, The Temptations, Idina Menzel, Greg Allman, Delfeayeo Marsalis, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Chris Stapleton, Duffy Jackson, Kirk Franklin, and the Wooten Brothers. The saxophonist has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages for music including The Smithsonian, Birdland,Lincoln Center, the Ryman the Kennedy Center, the NAMM Grand Stage, the JEN Conference (2019 headliner) and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Rahsaan Barber is also an accomplished and devoted music educator.

In August of 2005, at the young age of twenty-five, Barber was hired by Belmont University to teach the celebrated music school’s saxophone studio. Promoted to full-time instructor for the last threeyears of his six years of instruction at Belmont, Barber taught a wide array of courses. Rahsaan remains a sought-after private instructor and clinician at the high-school, collegiate and professional levels, having recently presented master classes at Lipscomb University, The Nashville Jazz Workshop, Tennessee State University, The University of Louisville, The Nashville School of the Arts, Vanderbilt University, The University of Memphis, Michigan State University and The University of North Carolina. Rahsaan Barber has joined the ranks of the nation’s rising jazz stars as leader of his own instrumental bands – a quartet and a larger band entitled Everyday Magic, – as well as being composer/saxophonist and co-leader of Latin Jazz Septet El Movimiento, the creator, bandleader, songwriter and producer of emerging hip-hop soul band, TheMegaphones, and musical director of The Nashville Salsa Machine. In addition, he has built a reputation asa standout jazz producer with the founding of his record label, Jazz Music City, in August of 2011. The label launched with the release of Everyday Magic, an album featuring Rahsaan’s original compositions recorded by his Nashville-based quintet. The album was awarded the rare honor of selection as an Editor’s Pick by Downbeat Magazine along with receiving high praise from both critics and audiences. Such a reception was also earned by Barber’s 2017 release, “The Music In The Night,” a collection of standards re-imagined through the saxophonist’s artistic perspective. Since the release of Everyday Magic, Barber has become an in-demand producer for Nashville’s rising jazz artists, most notably including trumpeter Imer Santiago, whose 2013 debut release (also on Barber’s Jazz Music City record label,) Hidden Journey, earned selection as an Editor’s Pick in Downbeat magazine.