Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the leading jazz educators in the Southwest. After eighteen successful years in Arizona, she recently returned to her home state of California where she is currently teaching at Pomona College, the California Institute of Technology, and Pasadena City College. Barb has many accolades as a jazz pianist (including named as a Downbeat “Player to Catch”), but is equally well-known for her tenure as musical director of the highly acclaimed youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona, as well as her years as director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College.
Barb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University at Fresno, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University and completed, with honors, her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University.
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 has directed many honor ensembles including the Arizona All-State High School Jazz Band and the 2017 California All-State Junior High School Jazz Band. She has been a featured clinician/guest artist at Fred Sturm’s acclaimed Lawrence Jazz Festival, Kris Berg’s Collin Jazz Festival, Paul Lucceksi’s San Joaquin Jazz Festival, the N.A.U Jazz Festival, and has presented clinics at state conferences both in Arizona and California. Barb was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Jazz in Arizona for her outstanding contribution to jazz education in the state of Arizona.