Geof Bradfield

Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Studies

Geof Bradfield

Geof Bradfield’s work as a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader synthesizes jazz and other African Diaspora influences with formal practices from the Western European tradition. His Chamber Music America commission “Melba!” received national attention as a feature on NPR’s “The Jazz Set” and has been performed throughout the U.S. “African Flowers” was selected as one Los Angeles Times Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2010. His 2015 CD “Our Roots,” which reimagines the music of Blind Willie Johnson, the Georgia Sea Island Singers, and Lead Belly, has received numerous critical accolades including 4 stars from DownBeat.

Born in Houston, TX, Bradfield has resided in Chicago since 2004. He has perfomed throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East both as a sideman and as a leader of his own ensembles. His work is featured on 50+ CDs, including six critically acclaimed albums as a leader. As a composer, he has received commissions and awards from ArtWorks (with Guggenheim Fellow Ryan Cohan), Chamber Music America, Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago DCASE, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Michigan State University Jazz Ensemble, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, the Mellon Foundation and DownBeat Magazine (Rising Star arranger, 2015 DownBeat Critics Poll).


M.M., California Institute of the Arts


Applied Instruction in Jazz Saxophone
Jazz Theory
Jazz Literature
Jazz History
Jazz Combo


I strive to help my students hone their craft, develop their artistic voice, and contribute to their musical community here at NIU and in their professional life beyond school.

Through that process, my students help me to continually refine my own craft as a teacher, musician and mentor."