John is a musician that possesses the desire to challenge the status quo and expand conventional ideas of composition and performance using astonishing instrumental ability. He believes that music, whatever style, needs to be presented to students as a living tradition with the power to transform and change an individual’s life. When teaching, he shares from his personal experiences and considers the focus and background of the student or audience, creating a provocative and stimulating teaching environment.

Because he has seen students become inspired to discover who they are as musicians when they move from being taught only repertoire and technique to also participating in the creation process, improvising and composition figure prominently in John's teaching curriculum.

Work with John One-on-One

John takes on a limited number of individual students each year.


Flutist, saxophonist, composer, improviser, and educator John C. Savage, Ph.D. has been compared to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Herbie Mann, Noah Howard,  Ian Anderson, and Colin Stetson. Savage has performed and recorded with, among others, the avant world-jazz duo Cartridge (The Black Heron and the Spoonbill), the Andrew Hill Big Band (A Beautiful Day), The Kitsune Ensemble (The Kaidan Suite and Amanogawa), releases with composer-drummer Ken Ollis on PJCE Records (Demolition Duo and Senses Sharpened), the jazz-funk quintet Groove Revelation (Grindin’), and the poetry and music duo, Thick In The Throat, Honey (Love Letters We Never Sent). Savage has received honors and awards from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, Bandcamp Weekly, The College Music Society, New York University, and the Portland-based Regional Arts and Culture Council. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University in flute performance where he studied with Keith Underwood, Esther Lamneck, and Robert Dick.

Excerpt of Impromptu for Solo Flute, composed and performed by John C. Savage at the Oxbow Trio's May 2017 chamber music. concert at Classic Pianos in Portland. The piece was commissioned by the National Flute Association for the 2009 annual convention in New York City.
Cartridge: John C. Savage-alto sax, Will Northlich-Redmond-guitar and percussion, with special guest Ken Ollis-drums