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Dr. Jordan VanHemert - Columbus State University

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Columbus State University

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Education and Certifications

  • Central Michigan University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Jordan VanHemert is a Korean American saxophonist and composer lauded for his skill as a modern jazz improviser, composer, and educator.

Critics recognize VanHemert's music as being profoundly relevant; noted jazz journalist and historian Scott Yanow recently praised VanHemert's debut release I AM NOT A VIRUS as "quite impressive," stating that his piece "Autumn Song" "could eventually become a standard." Additionally, critics recognize VanHemert's album as "full of generous emotions." (Sonograma Barcelona) and the "beautiful harmonious, melodious base" of his compositions, calling them "Sophisticated but quite accessible for many." (JazzMania Belgium)

VanHemert has performed or recorded with many notable artists, including Rodney Whitaker, John Webber, AJ Rafael, Heather Cornell, Rob Smith, Dmitri Matheny, Chris Vadala, Geri Allen, and many others.

Dr. VanHemert currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the Schwob School of Music where he directs the Schwob Jazz Orchestra, oversees Jazz Combos, and teaches Jazz Studies Courses. Prior to his appointment at Columbus State University, Dr. VanHemert served on the faculty of Hope College and as the founder and inaugural Music Director of the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to jazz advocacy, education, and performance.

In addition to his work as a composer and saxophonist, Dr. VanHemert continues to garner recognition for his work as a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in music. He is a DEI consultant with music organizations around the country to promote inclusion, including Hope College, PARMA Recordings, Vandoren USA, Conn Selmer, and the West Michigan Jazz Society. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the GROW Diversity and Inclusion Award at Hope College, where he served as a faculty advisor to the college's Asian Student Union.

He holds degrees from Central Michigan University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. VanHemert is a Vandoren Artist-Clinician and Selmer Paris Saxophones Performing Artist. He performs exclusively on Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces and Selmer Paris saxophones.

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