A native of Geneseo, Illinois, Jim Buennig [BYOO-nig] is a saxophonist, educator, and recording artist based in Austin, TX specializing in a range of musical styles with his main focus being jazz. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Western Illinois University and a Master of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from The University of Iowa. He has served as a Teaching Assistant at The University of Iowa and as the director of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band, an auditioned group of middle and high school students from the Davenport, IA area sponsored by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society. After relocating to Austin from Iowa City in the summer of 2017, Buennig is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Performance while serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Jazz Studies department of the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin and maintaining a private saxophone studio in Austin.
In March 2017, Buennig released It’s Like This, his self-produced debut studio album. The album consists entirely of original compositions and has received wide critical acclaim. Hobart Taylor of Orange County Public Radio (Irvine, CA) called Buennig’s playing “relaxed, not derivative or chasing fashion, and perpetually in the groove.” Midwest Record described the album as “a solid dose of pure jazz for serious listeners that want to hear some new stuff done right.”
In July of 2017, the Jim Buennig Quintet recorded a live EP entitled "Live at the Life." This recording documented his Iowa band's final performance before Buennig relocated to Austin, TX and is was released on December 1, 2017.
Buennig and his groups play extensively throughout the midwest and have made appearances at the Iowa City Jazz Festival and the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival. Buennig has also played with groups such as the Johnson County Landmark, Western Illinois University Jazz Studio Orchestra, Steve Hawk Jazz Orchestra, the Peoria Heritage Ensemble, and numerous rock bands throughout Illinois, including a performace with Goose Town at Summer Camp Music Festival (Chillicothe, IL).
Jim's major influences include Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Kenny Garrett, Cannonball Adderley, Wayne Shorter, and Tom Harrell.
It’s Like This and Live at the Life are available for download on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and CDBaby.