Bruce Diehl is a teacher and performer in the Amherst, MA area. In 1995, he completed his Masters of Music Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His composition/arranging teachers included Jeff Holmes, Yusef Lateef and Frederick Tillis.
Bruce completed his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, graduating in 1990. At Eastman, he completed two Bachelors Degrees, one in Saxophone Performance, the other in Music Education. He studied with saxophonist/author Ramon Ricker, Albert Regni, and with the late Rayburn Wright. Performances at Eastman included the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Eastman Wind Ensemble (in which he toured Japan in 1990 and recorded a disc, Live in Japan for CBS/Sony) and performances with Bill Dobbins, Ramon Ricker, Branford Marsalis, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Steve Houghton, and Paquito D'Rivera.
Prior to his work at Amherst College, Bruce was Director of Instrumental Music and Jazz Studies at Northfield Mount Hermon School, a private boarding school serving grades 9-12. His responsibilities at NMH included directing the then newly-formed Concert Band, the NMH Jazz Ensemble, and the Jazz Combo. He taught Saxophone, Jazz History, Jazz Theory and Arranging, and Electronic Music at NMH. He was the founder and coordinator of the annual NMH Jazz Festival, hosting such artists as Robert Levy, Rob Tapper, Eric Applegate and David Sporny (with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra). Bruce has also taught at the collegiate level at UMASS-Amherst, Clark University and Castleton State College. He taught grades 4-8 Instrumental Music in Castleton, VT from 1991-1993.
Currently, Bruce is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Jazz Performance at Amherst College. His responsibilities at Amherst include directing the Jazz Ensemble, jazz combos, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz theory, and jazz arranging/composition. In addition, he coordinated the Jazz @ Schwemm's performance series from 2007-2020, and now coordinates the Jazz@Friedmann Room Performance Series as well as the McBride '59 Jazz Commission Series.
Bruce remains active as a clinician, performer and guest director at jazz festivals. The summer of 2001 saw Bruce teach at the inaugural season of the Jazz Dialogues Summer Camp at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA, and he has been back in subsequent summers. He has spent 11 summers (1988-1995, 1999-2001) teaching saxophone and jazz-related courses and directing various ensembles at Camp Encore/Coda, a music camp for ages 8-18 in Sweden, Maine. He played many years as a regular member of the Jeff Holmes Big Band and has taught saxophone, jazz education, and directed combos since 2011 at Jazz in July, a summer jazz school hosted at UMASS. He also performs with the Springfield Symphony Pops and the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. He was the Western MA Senior District Jazz Ensemble director in January 2010, and has directed Junior High District Festivals in MA and VT as well as the VT District V High School Jazz Ensemble. He was a guest clinician at the January 2012 Eastern Washington University Jazz Dialogues Festival, and is a regular adjudicator at the annual UMASS High School Jazz Festival. His 2014 recording "Bug Juice" features him as a performer on alto and tenor saxophones as well as composer/arranger of several selections on the recording.