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Barb Catlin

Director of Jazz Ensembles
at Pomona College

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the Southwest’s leading jazz educators and pianists. Her extensive touring, cruise ship, and show playing include work with top entertainers including Smokey Robinson, Ben Vereen, Lou Rawls, Bobby Vinton, Michael Crawford, and Wayne Newton. Barb’s performances have gained her local and national recognition; her trio was voted as an “Arizona Favorite” by KJZZ’s Listener’s Poll and Barb was named by Downbeat Magazine as a “Player to Catch.” 

Barb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University at Fresno, Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University, and completed her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University.

Barb recently returned to her home state of California, where she is currently teaching at California State University Northridge and Pomona College. During her 18 years in Arizona, Barb was the Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa Community College in the Phoenix-metro area and had eight highly successful years as Musical Director of the award-winning youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona. Her students have been featured in the Grammy Jazz Band in Los Angeles, Wynton Marsalis’ All-American Jazz Ensemble, the Dave Brubeck Institute, and the Mancini Institute. Barb was the clinician for the Arizona High School All-State Jazz Clinic Band at the Arizona Music Educator’s Conference in 2009. Her enthusiasm for playing, “real-life” approach to education and expertise in the rhythm section has made Barb a popular clinician and adjudicator at the high school and college levels. Barb was a featured clinician and guest artist at Fred Sturm’s acclaimed Lawrence Jazz Festival in 2010. Barb will be the director for the 2012 Central California Honor Jazz Band, as well as a featured clinician at the Northern Arizona University Jazz Festival and Kris Berg's Collin Jazz Festival in Texas. In 2011, Jazz in Arizona awarded Barb their “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her outstanding contribution to jazz education for the state of Arizona.
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