John Kocur

Jazz saxophonist and composer John Kocur is captivating new audiences by putting an adventurous yet accessible spin on a classic tradition. Kocur’s compositions have been described as “mainly straight-ahead and clearly influenced by the playing of past masters such as Johnny Hodges and Cannonball Adderley, but they are not simply derivative. The ballads in particular display a maturity in writing and playing” (Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz). While highlighting original music, the group also creates unique interpretations of popular American songs from past and present. The group’s style is an intimate, all-acoustic format, where the music takes center stage. Recent performances by the John Kocur Quartet have included venues such as Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the DC Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, and the Phillips Collection.

“Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer—and, it turns out, one of its most promising composers and bandleaders, too.” -Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

Recently, John has explored the connections between jazz and other musical and artistic genres. He presented “Jazz Meets Irish Music” at the 2016 INTERSECTIONS festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC in collaboration with traditional Irish musicians Shannon Dunne and Sean McComiskey. He previously presented “Jazz Meets Bluegrass” at the 2014 INTERSECTIONS festival and at Strathmore’s “Unusual pAIRings”concert series.

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”...audiences should anticipate a personalized performance from Kocur’s gigs. Kocur smiled, sweated, and joked with the crowd between songs. Kocur and his band played, in more than one sense of the term.” -Chelsea Muth, Fairfax Connection

“Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer

Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto




John is available to teach saxophones, clarinet, and flute. Lessons include classical, jazz, and pop styles. Improvisation and Music Theory can also be included. Call for rates and available times. Education Master's of Music: Jazz Studies. Howard University. Bachelor's of Music Education: K-12 Instrumental Music. Minor: Jazz Studies. George Mason University. Student Teaching Internship: McLean High School & Louise Archer Elementary School Private Instruction from Charlie Young III, Dr. Sais Kamalidiin, Dale Underwood, and Jim Carroll. Participated in workshops by Dave Liebman, Jamey Aebersold, Roy Hargrove, and Jeff Hamilton Teaching Experience Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus - Adjunct Faculty. 2008-present. George Mason University – Adjunct Faculty. Spring 2008. Music and Arts Centers - Private Woodwind Instructor. Sept 2007-Present. Music Lesson Central - Private Music Instructor. 2006-Present Private Saxophone Studio - 2003- Present. Beginner-Advanced, Children -Adult. Howard University Graduate Assistant - Private instruction for undergraduates. 2006-’07 Lectures in Jazz Saxophone given at Howard University and the University of Maryland. Substitute Teacher - Fairfax County Public Schools. General Music, High School Band GMU Jazz Connection Camp Instructor, 2007. Woodwind Camp Instructor: Fairfax, VA Summer 2006, 2007, and 2008. Staff Assistant: Sachem High School Marching Band Summer 2005, Farmingville, NY Guest Clinician with Yorktown High School Jazz Band.

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John Kocur Music


The Smoker

Self Produced



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