Instructor of Jazz & Improvisational Music and Jazz Performance Coordinator
José L. Encarnación leads the jazz improvisation classes, coaches jazz small groups, teaches applied jazz saxophone, and coordinates the jazz performance program at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. He studied saxophone, flute and clarinet at the Free School of Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated magna cum laude, and received his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music (including the 2002 Schirmer Prize in Jazz Performance). He previously served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music, Instructor of Saxophone, Latin Jazz Performance Workshop, and Youth Saxology for the Eastman Community School, and as Jazz Ensemble Conductor at the Rochester (NY) School of the Arts.
He has performed jazz, salsa, and Latin music with the Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Dave Rivello Ensemble, Gilberto Santarosa, Roberto Rohena, Bobby Valentin, Domingo Quinones, Israel “Cachao" Lopez, Tito Puente, Danilo Perez, Dave Valentin, Giovanni Hidalgo, Batacumbele, Humberto Ramirez, and David Sanchez. His pops performances include appearances with the Temptations, Dianne Reeves, Natalie Cole, Doc Severinsen, Lou Rawls, New York Voices, Brasilia, Ann Hampton Calloway, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Rochester, and Green Bay.