Originally from rural southern Ohio, Drew Hays has toured throughout the US and in Europe as the baritone saxophonist in the New Century Saxophone Quartet, and can be heard on the group’s 8th studio album, Weekend Travelers. He has performed with artists such as Lou Rawls, Natalie Cole, and Bernadette Peters and with ensembles including the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony, the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, and the Equinox Jazz Orchestra. Drew is currently the baritone saxophonist in the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra and can be heard on jazz pianist Mark Freundt’s upcoming debut release, A Jazz Prayer. Drew’s own debut album, Saxophone Premiere: The Saxophone Music of Sherwood Shaffer was a joint project with renowned tenor saxophonist James Houlik and released in 2011.
Drew has given lectures or premiered new works at the Jazz Education Network national conference, the World Saxophone Congress, the U.S. Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Bi-annual and Regional conferences, and the Carolina Saxophone Symposium. Drew serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches saxophone, theory, and jazz studies. He also serves on the faculty of the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop each summer in High Point, NC. He has previously served on the faculty of North Carolina A & T State University, Bucks County Community College, Duquesne University, and numerous community music schools in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Drew completed a DMA in saxophone at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He performed as soloist with orchestras at both schools as a winner of their respective concerto competitions. Drew currently resides in Greensboro, NC, with his wife Angie. When not teaching and playing, he is an avid cyclist and runner, and enjoys a good cup of coffee.