Emilio Mesa is an active musician in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, pushing creative boundaries and reaching out to his audiences through his organic approach to saxophone and composition. Mesa is an alumnus of the prestigious University of North Texas (UNT), where he completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, studied with Brad Leali, and performed/recorded with the Two O’Clock Lab Band. While leading his "Constructed Reality” project, a genre-defying ensemble that seeks inspiration from the beauty of the world in which we live, co-leading Imposter, an avant-garde voice/sax/guitar trio, and Nothing Machine, an avant-garde saxophone trio, Mesa also performs regularly in other group configurations and settings. Mesa’s debut album as a leader, Constructed Reality, was released in 2019 and can be found on all streaming platforms.

During his time at UNT, Mesa performed in several ensembles, both inside and outside of school. While experiencing the standard big band repertoire and various straight-ahead and fusion small groups in school, Mesa has been a part of several outside projects with his colleagues, including The Octopod (avant-garde octet), with whom he can be heard on their recently released debut album, “Monoliths and Sepulchres.” Mesa also served as a UNT College of Music Ambassador, where he was able to share his enthusiasm and gratitude for his alma mater by speaking with prospective students and showing them around the college.

As a continuation of his collegiate music studies, Mesa attended the Keep an Eye Summer Jazz Workshop at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Netherlands) in 2016 on full scholarship and was invited to attend the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency in Wilmington, DE (USA) in 2018. Mesa was selected to attend the Siena Jazz International Jazz Workshop (Italy) in 2018 and invited to return on a merit scholarship in 2019, where he had the opportunity to study from and perform alongside internationally acclaimed artists, including Kenny Werner, Ambrose Akinmusire, Theo Bleckmann, Gilad Hekselman, Matt Mitchell, Ben Wendel, Jen Shyu, Donny McCaslin, and Henry Cole. 

Mesa maintains a large private lesson studio of students of all ages and experience levels and is proficient on piano, flute, and piccolo in addition to saxophone.  Mesa was woodwinds instructor and band director at Explorations Preparatory School from 2017-19, where he helped to develop a small school band program from the ground up. Mesa was also on faculty at the annual jazz camp sponsored by Olivas Music and the El Paso Friends of Jazz from 2013-15.  Mesa has had his compositions choreographed and featured on Southern Methodist University's Dance Series Showcase, and has had a composition featured as part of an exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston. Mesa can also be heard on the most recent UNT Two O’Clock Lab Band album, "Channel Two."

photo by Brandon Lu

photo by Brandon Lu