DePaul University School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Scott Burns

Scott Burns

BM University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
MM DePaul University

Courses Taught
Applied Jazz Saxophone


A native of Dayton, OH, saxophonist Scott Burns has been a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene since moving to the city in 1998, as well as an in-demand educator.  He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (B.M in Jazz Studies, Summa Cum Laude) and DePaul University (M.M. in Jazz Studies, With Distinction). 

Possessing a warm, expressive sound, an energetic rhythmic feel, and formidable melodic and harmonic insight, Mr. Burns is frequently heard performing as a leader of his own groups and as a sideman in leading jazz venues in the region.  He has performed alongside several international jazz artists, including McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Clark Terry, John Faddis, Ira Sullivan, David Hazeltine, Joe Henderson, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Nicholas Payton, Lou Rawls, Kurt Elling and Harry Connick Jr.  Mr. Burns has performed across the nation at many major festivals and venues including the JVC Jazz Fest, the Newport Jazz Fest, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  His latest CD, Passages, was released on Origin Records and features all original compositions. The recording, which also showcases the talents of fellow DePaul jazz faculty members Ron Perrillo and Dennis Carroll, received critical acclaim both locally and nationally, and has been broadcasted across the nation. 

Mr. Burns is also a dedicated teacher of music to students of all levels.  He has served on the music faculty of Loyola University Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, where his collective duties include jazz ensemble director, applied saxophone instructor, jazz combo coach, jazz history lecturer, and woodwind coordinator.  He has also worked with students in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute’s Chicago chapter, the Northwestern University High School Music Institute, and is currently a faculty member at Birch Creek Music Performance Center’s summer jazz program in Egg Harbor, WI. Mr. Burns has been a guest clinician at numerous high schools, colleges and universities in Chicago and the Midwest. ​