Saxophonist, composer and music educator Rahsaan Barber has set 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, the late 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, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
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. Prior to this release, Barber received critical acclaim for both “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 the diverse and impressive musical talent of his hometown, Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to his own jazz quintet, the saxophonist also founded and directs the Nashville Salsa Machine, a twelve-member ensemble featuring Music City’s most celebrated Latin-music performers. Barber remains an in-demand saxophonist for studio recording and touring work, most recently completing a year-long tour with pop icon Kelly Clarkson and multiple tours with Lauren Daigle.
As an in-demand educator, Rahsaan currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Jazz and Saxophone at the University of North Carolina. Barber has taught extensively at the collegiate level for well-over a decade, including six years of instruction at Belmont University, where he began his collegiate teaching career at the age of twenty-five, serving as instructor of jazz and classical saxophone, director of combo and big band jazz ensembles, and lecturer of commercial musical styles. Barber has given masterclasses and concerts 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, featured performer/lecturer of the Nashville Jazz Workshop, and as a board member for the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion panel.
[Mosaic is] "a 95-minute masterpiece..." - JazzTimes Magazine
"Sometimes there’s actually something very right about bucking the trends, following your gut and going big, as saxophonist Rahsaan Barber ably demonstrates with Mosaic ." - Dan Bilawky (JazzTimes Magazine)
"Recorded amid the pandemic, Mosaic somehow manages to capture the vibe of the proverbial smoke-filled, wood-paneled jazz club of yore: offering an expansive collection of vintage-flavored straightahead jazz...a nd for all the throwback vibes Mosaic has to offer, it also offers timely statements." - Ayana Contreras, (Downbeat Magazine)