Bill Burns Biography

Bill Burns – Woodwinds


Bill is an active jazz educator and performer across southwest Ohio and has been referred to by the Dayton Daily News as “the biggest, baddest, baritone sax player to play her in a long time”.  He has been a part of the Miami Valley Jazz scene since 1996. Mr. Burns is the founder and leader of the Bright Moments Jazz Quintet and performs regionally with a variety of bands.


These include Pat Kelly’s Psychoacoustic Orchestra, Pop/Rock band This Side Up, and the Miami Valley Klezmer Ensemble. Past experience includes work with the Dayton Philharmonic, The Blue Wisp Big Band, the Northern Kentucky Symphony, and the CCM Big Band. He has had the honor of backing up such legends as Phil Woods, John Pizzarelli, Arturo Sandoval, Diana Schuur, John Fedchock, Billy Hart, Denis DaBlazio, Bobby Watson, Frankie Vallie, The Temptations, The O’Jays, and the Funk brothers, among others.


With over 20 years in education, Bill was a nominee for the 2018 Excellence in Education Award by his colleagues at Cline Elementary School in Centerville City Schools. In 2005, Bill was nominated for the Harry T. Wilkes outstanding educator award while teaching in Hamilton City Schools. As a Jazz ensemble director, Mr. Burns directs the Centerville High School Jazz Ensemble IV, the CHS Jazz Combo, and the Sinclair Community Jazz Ensemble. Private saxophone students have gone on to attend various Colleges and Universities including Berklee College of Music, Indiana University, Ohio State, Ohio University, The University of Dayton, The University of Michigan, and the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Bill is past president of the Jazz Education Connection of Ohio and has presented jazz numerous clinics at both the Ohio Music Education Association Convention and the National Jazz Education Network convention. Mr. Burns has served as guest director for various OMEA honor Jazz Bands across southwest Ohio and served as clinician for various festivals including the Beavercreek Weekend of Jazz.


Recordings Bill can be found on include Serenade in Blue  with the CCM Big Band, Swing,Dance,Remember with the Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Do What You Gotta Do with the Bill Burns Quartet. His most recent recording, Jazz Advice, with the Bright Moments Jazz Quintet was released in January of 2016. Bill holds a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Dayton and a Masters in Saxophone Performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  To learn more, visit Bill Burns Jazz.