Faculty & Staff

Dr. Luis Palacios

Popular Music in America

Adjunct Faculty
  • Popular Music in America


  • B.M.E., Music Education, University of North Florida
  • B.M., Jazz Studies, University of North Florida
  • M.M., Pedagogy and Jazz Studies, George Mason University
  • D.M.A., Saxophone Performance, George Mason University

Luis Palacios is active as an educator and performer in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Florida where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. At UNF Luis performed with the Wind Symphony and the premier Jazz Ensemble in prestigious venues such as the Florida Music Educators Conference, Savannah Jazz Festival, and Carnegie Hall. He was featured on the live DVD “April Green” alongside internationally renowned recording artist Lynne Arriale. In Jacksonville, Florida he worked with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist and shared the stage with guest artists such as Chuck Bergeron, Idina Menzel, Shelly Berg, and Pattie Austin. As a soloist he has performed alongside world renowned artists such as Maria Schneider, Joe Lovano, the Clayton Brothers, Vincent Herring, Richard Stoltzman, Gary Burton, Bobby Floyd, and Shelly Berg to name a few.

Dr. Palacios earned a Master of Music with a dual concentration in Instrumental Pedagogy and Jazz Studies and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies at George Mason University. During his residence at Mason he has assisted in various outreach programs at the local and national level. Dr. Palacios was the founder and director of the Mason Jazz Saxophone Ensemble which holds the distinct honor of being invited to perform at the 36th International Saxophone Symposium, the 2013 Virginia Music Educators Conference, and the 2014 Jazz Education Network Conference. He has also been featured as a soloist with the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra and the American Festival Pops Orchestra.

As an educator, Dr. Palacios is active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. He presented research and strategies to improve the impact on student learning at the 24th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning held in Ponte Vedra, Florida in April 2013. The Florida Music Director published his co-authored “Guide to Stylistic Interpretations of Big Band Jazz Music” in April of 2015. Dr. Palacios’ “Developing a Pedagogical Method for Intermediate and Advanced Saxophone Studios Based on the Analysis of Michael Brecker’s Unaccompanied Ballad Solos” illustrates a unique approach towards developing jazz improvisation pedagogy grounded in the exceptional improvisation of saxophonist Michael Brecker. Most recently, Dr. Palacios has been teaching a variety of music courses including jazz improvisation and popular music history at George Mason University and directing the South County High School Jazz Ensemble.

Contact Mr. Palacios:  lpalaci7@masonlive.gmu.edu