Garrett Waters is a multi-instrumentalist from Renton, WA. Garrett teaches saxophone, clarinet, and beginner piano. Primarily a jazz musician, Garrett loves exploring different sounds and developing a personal approach to music. He is inspired by forging connections with others through performance, education, and community.
Garrett always had an interest in music from a young age and his first instrument was guitar in the 4th grade. After hearing the music of Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, and John Coltrane, Garrett switched to the tenor saxophone and picked up the clarinet shortly after. Garrett took private lessons with saxophonist and composer Nick Toretta his last 2 years of high school and went on to study music at the University of Montana graduating in May 2021 with a BM in Saxophone Performance and BA in Jazz Studies. Garrett has studied with Professor of Saxophone Dr. Johan Eriksson, Professor of Clarinet Dr. Christopher Kirkpatrick, Professor of Jazz Studies Rob Tapper, and the award-winning saxophonist and Village Vanguard alum Loren Stillman. Throughout college Garrett played in wind ensembles, saxophone quartets, big bands, and jazz combos. He earned the first tenor saxophone chair in the second big band his freshman year and moved up to the top band soon after. He also participated in the 2021 University of Montana Concerto Competition, making it to the finals round and ranking 4th out of over 40 contestants with Richard Rodney Bennett’s Concerto for Stan Getz. Garrett has also played woodwinds in a variety of musicals at the college, community and professional level including Seussical, Newsies, Into the Woods, and She Loves Me at the Missoula Community Theater and University of Montana, as well as Guys and Dolls, Mamma Mia, Freaky Friday, and The Full Monty with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse.
Garrett began teaching while in college, working with several high school and middle school students. This expanded after he graduated in 2021 and he worked part time with Missoula Public Schools as a woodwind clinician. During this time he found his love for developing a student’s sound and demystifying music for beginning students. Regardless of style, era, or instrumentation, Garrett strives to help students understand the music they are playing and how to get the most from it. Garrett’s main objective when teaching is to find the emotional value in the music, regardless of a student’s technical ability. Garrett will work with a student regardless of what their goals are musically, as his goal is simply to foster a lifelong love of music whether one is playing it or not.