Guitarist, composer, and educator John Baboian has been on the faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1980. Before beginning his teaching career at Berklee, he received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Berklee and later a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory.
Although best known for his work in the jazz and swing idioms, John has performed in the classical, blues, rock, R&B, Latin, and world music genres. His performances include concerts, clubs, recordings, radio, and television throughout the United States and Canada, as well as performances and teaching clinics in Japan, Central and South Americas, Europe, South Africa, and the former Soviet Union, including his ancestral home, Armenia.
His compositions and arrangements have been heard on television shows Walker, Texas Ranger, UPN’s Seven Days, ABC’s All My Children, HBO’s The Sopranos, and others.
He has accompanied headliners Frankie Avalon, Sergio Franchi, Connie Francis, Tom Jones, Al Martino, Marilyn Michaels, Jim Nabors, Bobby Rydell, Ben Vereen, and many others, and has shared the stage with jazz greats Gary Burton, Alan Dawson, Joe Lovano, Bob Moses, Herb Pomeroy, Esperanza Spalding, Leni Stern, Phil Wilson, Warren Vaché, and many others.
John has been a featured performer on more than 20 recordings in a variety of musical styles. Recent recordings include performances with the Boston Big Band, the World Leaders, the Black Sea Salsa Band, and a host of vocalists from the New England area. Under his own leadership, John has released the Be-Bop Guitars’ . . . And More! (2000) and Freshly Painted Blues (2007), featuring his all-faculty guitar ensemble from Berklee.
He recently returned from South Africa, where his band played at the Cape Town Jazz Festival.
His picture is included in the recently published book: “Faces of Jazz” which features prominent New England jazz artists. John is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammys), an active member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers (ASCAP), a winner of many ASCAPLUS writing awards, and a “Network with an Expert” consultant to the Jazz Education Network (JEN).
Recently, John surprised his fans and students with a "cameo" appearance in the feature film Ted, filmed in Boston. Look for the mustachioed guitar player in the house party scene and you will see a familiar face.