Rod is the Director of Road Sales for West Music and has been servicing school music programs for over 23 years. He holds a music performance degree from the University of Iowa in saxophone performance with Jazz emphasis. Rod serves JEI (Jazz Educators of Iowa) as past President and performs with his own group, The Rod Pierson Big Band.
Along with his passion for creating great music, Rod enjoys the special interaction with people that can only be shared through live music. He adds, "This music is still very much alive and topical...reaching a special place inside everyone who experiences it. With Big Band once holding the distinction as "America's Most Popular Music" and Jazz often being referred to as "America's Gift to The World", I believe as long as people appreciate songs about love and relationships–good and bad–Swing and Jazz music will continue to speak to us with vitality and meaning."
Rod's experiences as a musician include long term stints with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Moe Band, Hunter Fuerste's Vintage Orchestra, and the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. Jazz credits include performances with Woody Herman, Natalie Cole, John Pizzarelli, and Ann Hampton Callaway to name a few. Rod has also backed such popular artists as Aretha Franklin, Burt Bacharach, The Tempatations, Bob Hope and more. Add to this a list of nearly 20 different Broadway Musical touring company pit engagements, and you can understand the standard for quality that Rod strives to meet with every performance.
Having grown up in rural Iowa, Rod was fortunate to have been guided by some fantastic Music Educators. Their commitment to meeting the needs of the individual student and their example(s) for self exploration and individual hard work led him to a lifelong career supporting music makers of all ages.