Dr. Jim Buennig [BYOO-nig] is a saxophonist, educator, composer, and recording artist based in Iowa City, Iowa, specializing in a range of musical styles with his main focus being jazz.  He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and also holds degrees in music from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University.


Jim is currently on faculty at The University of Iowa, Cornell College, and Black Hawk College.  Buennig was the recipient of the Eleanor Alexander Stribling Award for Excellence in Jazz Studies in November 2018 at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music.

Buennig released two EPs in 2020: "Only One to Go," a collaboration with pianist Seth Fromal, and "Bench Warmers Vol. 1," a collection of previously unreleased tracks. Both are available for purchase on Bandcamp.

Buennig’s latest full-length album is entitled Smoke & Mirrors and was released in January of 2019.  It features his band from Austin, Texas performing original compositions in the Hard Bop vein.

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 and it was released on December 1, 2017.

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."

Buennig and his groups play extensively throughout Texas and the midwest and have made appearances at the Iowa City Jazz Festival and the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival.  Buennig has also performed with the Steve Hawk Jazz Orchestra, New Original Works Jazz Orchestra, Johnny Fury, Johnson County Landmark, Western Illinois University Jazz Studio Orchestra, the Peoria Heritage Ensemble, and numerous cover bands throughout Texas, Iowa, and Illinois, including a performance at Summer Camp Music Festival (Chillicothe, IL).  Buennig is a former member of the Austin-based Boss Street Brass Band.

Jim's major influences include Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Kenny Garrett, Vincent Herring, Cannonball Adderley, Wayne Shorter, and Tom Harrell.

It’s Like This, Live at the Life, Smoke & Mirrors and Only One to Go are available for purchase on Bandcamp, iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

Jim Buennig is a D'Addario Woodwinds artist.

For booking or lesson inquiries, please visit the "contact" page.