Barb Catlin

Lecturer in Music; Jazz; Director of the Pomona College Jazz Ensemble
  • Expertise


    Barb Catlin, director of the Pomona College Jazz Ensemble, has become one of the Southwest’s leading jazz educators. Her extensive experience as a professional musician has made Catlin known for her “real life” approach to teaching. Combined with her enthusiasm for music and expertise of the rhythm section, Catlin has become a popular clinician in California and Arizona.

    During her 18 years in Arizona, Catlin was the director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College in the Phoenix-metro area and had eight highly successful years as musical director of the award-winning youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona. Her students have been featured in the Grammy jazz bands, Wynton Marsalis’ All-American Jazz Ensemble, the Dave Brubeck Institute and the Mancini Institute.

    Catlin has been a featured adjudicator and soloist throughout the country, at festivals including Fred Sturm's Lawrence Jazz Festival and Kris Berg's Collin College Jazz Festival, in addition to serving as director of the Arizona All-State Clinic Jazz Band and the Central California Honor Jazz Band. She is excited to have been selected to direct the California All-State Junior High Jazz Band in 2017.

  • Work


    Catlin currently directs the jazz ensemble at Pomona College, as well as runs the jazz program at the California Institute of Technology and is on the jazz faculty at Pasadena City College.

    Her extensive performing on tours, cruise ships and in shows have included work with top entertainers such as Smokey Robinson, Michael Crawford and many others. Catlin’s performances, especially with her trio, have gained her local and national recognition.

  • Education


    • Arizona State University, Masters of Music Education, jazz piano emphasis
    • Grand Canyon University, B.S., Music Education, saxophone
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    • Lifetime Achievement Award – Jazz in Arizona
    • “Best Jazz Trio” – KJZZ Listener’s Poll, Phoenix, Arizona
    • “Player to Catch” – Downbeat Magazine
    • William English Music Education Award – Arizona State University
    • Summa Cum Laude – Grand Canyon University
    • California Alliance for Jazz - Treasurer