Jim Mair is currently an Associate Professor and director of instrumental Music at Kansas City Kansas Community College. He is also Artistic Director and Conductor for The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, a performance organization that he and his wife Mary founded in 2003 (Also see: www.kcjazzorchestra.org).
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mr. Mair graduated from the University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) with a Bachelor of Science degree and the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music with a Master of Arts degree.
Mr. Mair has served on the faculty at the College of Southern Idaho, the International Music Camp and the Charlie Parker Academy of the Arts. He has served as a staff writer for the Saxophone Journal and was the host of “Table Down Front” a jazz radio show that aired across the northwestern United States on NPR. For the past 16 years Jim has been an artist/clinician for the Selmer Musical Instrument Company.
Jim has twice conducted All-State Jazz Ensembles in North Dakota, South Dakota and Idaho. In addition, he has on multiple occasions conducted the Kansas City All District Jazz Ensemble. As a saxophonist, bandleader and educator his groups have performed in New York City at Birdland, Showman’s Café, Carnegie Recital Hall and the JVC Jazz Festival along with the Duchin Room in Sun Valley, Idaho and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The KCKCC Jazz Combo was invited to perform and present educational workshops at the 2006 Morocco Jazz Festival as guests of the Moroccan government.
Mr. Mair has released six compact discs, which have garnered critical acclaim earning him positive reviews in Downbeat, JazzTimes, Coda and Jam magazines.
In 1986 Jim appeared in Down Beat magazine’s Audition section as a young musician deserving wider recognition. In 1991 he was voted Best Saxophonist by the readers of JAM. He has been profiled on the covers of the December 1991 and April 2004 issue of JAM, the June 2000 issue of the Saxophone Journal and the April 2004 issue of Kansas City’s Art magazine. His biography also appears in the Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians compiled by Louis Porter.
Jim is a two time Fellowship recipient to the Aspen Music Festival. In 1995, the University of Mary selected Jim as Alumnus of the Year. In 1997, he was a finalist for The Idaho Governor’s Award. In 1998, Jim and his wife Mary were named Persons of the Year by the Twin Falls, Idaho Chamber of Commerce. Jim was inducted into the 2002 edition of Who’s Who of American teachers.
Jim has two children, Amanda and Jameson.