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Assistant Professor

Rahsaan BarberSince earning a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2005, Rahsaan Barber (Assistant Professor) has set out on a singular path of musical excellence in performance, composition, education, and entrepreneurship. Rahsaan enjoys a career that encompasses an ever-expanding range of musical styles, including jazz, blues, funk, classical, fusion, soul, Latin, and world music.

Rahsaan’s passionate, sincere, and studious approach to music-making has garnered professional appearances onstage alongside such heavyweights as Christian McBride, Brian Blade, the Temptations, Delfeayo Marsalis, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Duffy Jackson, Winard Harper, Kirk Franklin, Meghan Trainor and the Wooten Brothers. The saxophonist has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages for music including The Ryman, The Village Vanguard, Birdland, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Rahsaan joined the ranks of the nation’s rising jazz stars as the leader of his own quintet, Everyday Magic, and co-leader of the groundbreaking Nashville-based Latin-jazz septet El Movimiento. Rahsaan has entered the ranks of the nation’s premier jazz artists following several celebrated releases, most recently including “Mosaic,” a double-disc collection of original works released in April of 2021, featuring trumpeter Nathan Warner and trombonist Roland Barber, Rahsaan’s twin brother. Prior to the release of “Mosaic,” Barber received critical acclaim for “The Music In The Night” (2017) and “Everyday Magic,” (2011) both released on the saxophonist’s record label, Jazz Music City, which he founded to showcase his hometown’s (Nashville, TN) diverse and impressive musical talent. In addition to his own jazz outfits, the saxophonist founded The Nashville Salsa Machine in 2016, a twelve-member ensemble featuring Music City’s most celebrated Latin-music performers. Barber is also an in-demand saxophonist for recording sessions and touring work, most recently completing a year-long tour with pop icon Kelly Clarkson and multiple tours with Lauren Daigle.

Rahsaan currently serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Saxophone at the University of North Carolina. Barber has taught extensively at the collegiate level for over a decade, including six years of instruction at Belmont University, where he began his collegiate teaching career as instructor jazz and classical saxophone, jazz ensembles, and commercial music styles at the impressive age of twenty-five. Barber has given masterclasses and concerts at multiple Jazz Education Network conferences and at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Memphis, Lipscomb University, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, Indiana University, The University of Wisconsin (OshKosh), the University of Evansville, and many more. In addition, Rahsaan has served as Vice-President of the Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society and as a board member for the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion panel.

360ᵒ Jazz Initiative CD, featuring UNC Jazz Studies faculty and students, with guest artists (Summit Records July 2022)

Office: Kenan Music Building 2125
Artist Website:

View Rahsaan Barber’s YouTube channel here.

Mosaic (2021) – see the JazzTimes review which calls Mosaic a “95 minute masterpiece.”

The Music in the Night (2017)

Everyday Magic (2011)

Rahsaan Barber is the founder of Jazz Music City – a record label, a concert production company, and a cultural resource.