Jazz Band Director
137 Howard Hall
Appearing and performing as "Ryan Montana," a singer-songwriter, jazz saxophonist, recording artist, internationally touring musician, teacher, producer and studio engineer, Ryan was born and raised in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Bozeman and has been living and recording in Southern California for the last 11 years. Through journeys with industry stars, and studies with music legends, Ryan has developed as a contemporary indie artist belonging to the growing community of studied, genre melding, multi-faceted performers that are taking music back to its collective roots while exploring and researching the art form of Jazz and its connection to the cultural history and sociological condition of America. As one of the last remaining members of the iconic rock group Ike Turner and The Kings of Rhythm, he was on the Grammy Award winning 2007 ablum, Risin' With the Blues.
He moved to San Diego in 2000 to serve as the Artist Community Director for MP3.com after studying Jazz Performance and African History at The Hartt School under Jackie McLean, Nat Reeves(bass) and Steve Davis(trombone); and then studied Music Performance and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University under saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins and Paul Jeffrey. Ryan has since been an active teacher, studio musician and live performer world-wide as the alto saxophonist and horn section leader for the late Ike Turner, and remains and active member of the historically iconic band "The Kings of Rhythm," credited with recording and producing the very first Rock and Roll song every "Rocket 88," in 1951.
While at Duke, he lead and arranged music for the Concert Jazz Ensemble, and has also appeared and taught at numerous international festivals and workshops including The Stanford Jazz Workshop, The North Carolina International Jazz Festival, Jazz Montana and Hatch Festivals, Aspen Jazz /Snowmass Festival sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute, Acqui Terme Jazz Festival, Vienne Jazz Festival, Kansas City Barbeque and Blues Festival, Bordeux 24 Hours of Music Festival, Alicante Jazz Festival, Rauma Blues Festival, Santa Blues Festival, Gexto Jazz Festival, the Conservatory of Monaco, Trasimeno Blues Festival, The Legendary Blues Cruise and many more. He has appeared on multiple recording projects as a sideman, co-writer and producer/engineer, and has recorded several albums as a leader on SOTA Records. "A Dance Called Life," was produced by the famed Big Mountain founder, Quino McWhinney; and was mastered by the legendary Bernie Grundman. Ryan Montana and The Ten O'clock Scholars release "Electric Picture Show," garnered national attention and charted on several mid-major independent radio stations internationally.
He was awarded with "Jazz Artist of the Year" honors in the 2004 Los Angeles Music Awards. His latest studio time and production work has been with the acclaimed singer-songwriter Earl Thomas which recorded and broadcast a live show from London on BBC radio, and with a new artist collective called "JAAMA," which features Senegalese artists and the likes of Tanmoy Bose'Pandit Ravi Shankar's Tabla player; and Paul Smith who toured and recorded with Natalie Cole and Bill Withers. Ryan is currently pursuing and continuing his performing, teaching and recording career while researching and studying jazz saxophone and African-American history and developing a series of saxophone method books at Montana State University.