As someone who has been to just about every music school and jazz program in the country I can attest to the fact that his passion for teaching and education is not often found. I’m delighted to call him my friend and colleague. ”

— Randy Brecker, October 2017


Dr. Arthur White, an ANDREAS EASTMAN and JODYJAZZ Saxophone Artist, is a nationally recognized composer, arranger, educator, and touring saxophonist. All About Jazz calls White’s ensembles “solidly impressive”, while referring to his “virile tenor solos”, “scorching alto broadsides”, and his ability to “vacate(s) the podium to fashion ‘splendid' tenor solos…”.  The notable jazz journalist Scott Yanow calls White and his band, MERGE, "world-class players". His debut album, when you find it..., recorded with MERGE, was released in 2020 on the Artists Recording Collective label to critical acclaim.

Never one to shy away from new adventures, and with an undying passion for jazz education running through his veins, Dr. White started a new adventure in September 2019, when he became the director of jazz studies at California Polytechnic State University. He  directs all of Cal Poly's instrumental jazz ensembles (two big bands and several combos), and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which he founded in 2019. In addition, he teaches the core jazz curriculum, which includes improvisation, history, theory, arranging, and composition.

Prior to his Cal Poly appointment, Dr. White taught jazz studies for five years at Northeastern (OK) State University, and seven years as an associate professor/director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri. His ensembles were selected to perform for the 2016 conference for the International Society for Music Education, 2012 and 2014 international conferences for the Jazz Education Network, 2011 and 2012 conferences for the International Society for Improvised Music, and the 2012 Missouri Music Educators Association conference. Dr. White was named one of the original group of NSU Centurions, which signifies the 100 most influential persons in the university's history. He also gained valuable experiences as the 2018-19 director of music as Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita, KS.

Ensembles under White’s direction have recorded with a veritable Who’s Who in modern jazz: Randy Brecker, Bobby Watson, Russell Malone, Henry Johnson, Scott Wendholt, Robin Eubanks, Mike Mainieri, Mike Metheny, Byron Stripling, Bob Sheppard, Sean Jones, and Jimmy Greene. White has also been fortunate to record CDs with legendary trombonist Fred Wesley, Chris Murrell (vocalist with Count Basie), and jazz legend Dewey Redman. In all, White has produced 11 critically acclaimed albums for his university large ensembles. 

White is also in demand as an arranger; he has written music for jazz luminaries Christian McBride, Meshell Ndegeocello, James Carter, John Clayton, Mike Mainieri, Peter Erskine, Eric Person, Mulgrew Miller, Kevin Mahogany, Henry Johnson, Dewey Redman, Scott Wendholt, Bobby Watson, Bob Mintzer, Robin Eubanks, Kathy Kosins, Paul Hanson, Russell Malone, Bob Sheppard, Andy Narell, the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, and Randy Brecker. UNC Jazz Press, Second Floor Music, and publish Dr. White’s music. 

Dr. White has been an invited performer at conferences for the North American Saxophone Alliance, International Society for Improvised Music, Oklahoma and Missouri Music Educators Association, and Jazz Education Network. Dr. White has performed with numerous nationally acclaimed jazz and pop artists. High school and college jazz ensembles throughout the country have performed his arrangements and original compositions. White is also active as a clinician with high school and college bands, and as an adjudicator at jazz festivals, throughout the United States. 

A proud Kansas native, Dr. White received the Bachelor of Arts in Music from Emporia (KS) State University, the Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy from West Virginia University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He resides in San Luis Obispo, CA with his beautiful family: wife Megan, son Sam, and dogs Lily and Oakley.

Photo by Katherine F. Blake

Photo by Katherine F. Blake

Photo by Katherine F. Blake