Award winning baritone saxophonist and woodwind specialist Adrian Barnett has performed all across the nation at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lollapalooza. He has been a featured soloist with symphony orchestras, jazz big bands, concert wind ensembles, and internationally touring rock groups. Adrian also leads his own group (The Questet) comprised of a rotating cast of musicians throughout the nation.
Adrian earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Music Education, a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Music Performance, Master of Music (M.M.) in Saxophone/Woodwind Performance from Minnesota State University, Mankato. After receiving his M.M., he returned to Minnesota State University, Mankato as part of the music faculty acting as Interim Director of Jazz Studies. Adrian then moved to Illinois to study with Chip McNeill and Glenn Wilson while completing a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2011 Adrian won a Downbeat Award in the Jazz Soloist category for his featured performance on the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band’s album “Freeplay.”
Adrian has shared the stage with Alma Afrobeat Ensemble (Barcelona, Spain), Bette Smith, Dave Barnes, Wayne Bergeron, Jeff Coffin, Denis DiBlasio, Dynamo, Everyone Orchestra, Pete Christlieb, Escort, Tom Garling, Kirk Garrison, Nachito Herrera, The Hornheads, The Jack Brass Band, JazzMN, Kevin Mahogany, Andy Martin, Chip McNeill, Nashville Composer Collective, Jim Snidero, Spoon, Sun Stereo, The Tempations, Fred Wesley, Glenn Wilson, Jim Widner, Roy “Futureman” Wooten, and many more.
Active not only as a performer, Adrian continues to be involved with music education. He has taught at every level, from beginning band students to advanced music majors. His students have gone on to participate in All-State Jazz and Concert Band ensembles, pursue music majors at universities, have successful careers as music educators, and perform professionally. His work in the music education field has also included directing small and large ensembles, composing music for a wide variety of groups and ensembles, adjudicating festivals, acting as assistant director and head percussion instructor for marching band organizations, and working with music programs throughout the nation as a guest artist and clinician. Alongside a steady performing and clinic schedule Adrian teaches saxophone and arranging at Tennessee State University, applied woodwind lessons at Nashville State Community College, and maintains a private woodwind lesson studio.
Adrian is a Yamaha Performing Artist, Vandoren Regional Artist, and Hercules Stands Artist.