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Josiah Boornazian
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Josiah Boornazian

Assistant Professor, Director of Jazz Studies

DMA University of Miami
MA City College of New York
BM California State University, Northridge

Office: DGH 262
Faculty Page


Josiah Boornazian is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Utah. Dr. Boornazian is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, educator, electronic musician, and scholar of music most recently active in Salt Lake City, South Texas, Miami, New York City, Washington state, Europe, and California. As a performing and recording artist, Dr. Boornazian has been cultivating an innovative, technology-based jazz performance practice for several years, which began with his adoption of digital effects pedals for live concerts. He has continued to develop his musical approach to include the use of software-based synthesizers and improvised digital accompaniment using Ableton, the popular digital audio workstation.  

In his career as a jazz and electronic artist, Dr. Boornazian has performed with diverse musicians including Mark Farina, Dave Liebman, Dave Holland, Nick Smart, Diane Schuur, Dave Grusin, Arturo Sandoval, John Faddis, Jimmy Heath, Ignacio Berroa, John Beasley, Dafnis Prieto, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Drew Gress, David Binney, Wayne Krantz, Ari Hoenig, Donny McCaslin, Will Vinson, Ben Wendel, Ferenc Nemeth, Alan Ferber, John Daversa, Kenny Wollesen, the Gil Evans Orchestra, Lew Soloff, Massimo Biolcati, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, and Shelly Berg, among others. As a recording artist known for enhancing his saxophone with electronic effects, Dr. Boornazian is featured on multiple studio and live albums as a leader, sideman, and collaborator. Releases as a leader include IntersectionLive at FrostLive at the UTRGV PAC, and ÌKAN ÌPÀKÓ Live, which feature his original modern jazz compositions and improvisations. He is also showcased as a composer and improviser on the collaborative studio recordings Simply Begin Again and A Dark and Stormy Day (Fresh Sound New Talent Records), which feature a quartet Dr. Boornazian co-leads with New York-based Italian pianist-composer Alessandro Fadini. 

As a scholar of music, Dr. Boornazian was recently invited to give research presentations and clinics at the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Jazz Education Network Conferences and the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association Conference, and he was awarded a Björn Bärnheim Research Fellowship at the Hogan Jazz Archive housed at Tulane University during the 2017–2018 academic year. His peer-reviewed publications include articles in Jazz PerspectivesJazz Education in Research and Practice, and The Saxophone Symposium

Before joining the faculty at the University of Utah, Dr. Boornazian taught applied saxophone and jazz studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, music technology at Broward College, jazz and music appreciation at the City College of New York, and applied saxophone, jazz performance, and musicology at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, a Master of Arts degree from the City College of New York, and a Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Northridge.  

Dr. Boornazian makes his home in Salt Lake City where, in addition to teaching, performing, composing, and engaging in research, he enjoys painting, hiking, and cycling. For additional information as well as links to hear and purchase Dr. Boornazian’s music, please visit

Courses Taught

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Last Updated: 5/15/23