Charles M. Sawyer, Jr., MS

Charles Sawyer has two passions: software and the blues.

Just 14 months after he sat down at a computer for the first time, Sawyer was teaching C and Unix to the software engineers at a major CAD/CAM company. He now writes Java code at Google.

His love affair with the music had a similarly whirlwind start; he first discovered the blues in 1966, met and started writing about B.B. King in 1968, and published a biography of the great bluesman in 1980. King was a guest in class the first time Sawyer taught MUSI E-139 at the Extension School in 2003, and Sawyer acts as a consultant to the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi. He has since welcomed other renowned blues artists—Kim Wilson, David Maxwell, and J.Geils, among them—into his classroom. Sawyer sings and plays harmonica in 2120 South Michigan Avenue, his own blues band.

Sawyer preaches the blues from the dual pulpits of the classroom and the bandstand. He teaches Java with equal passion and commitment. He earned a master's in physics from Case Western University, and a master's in computer science from Harvard.


  • MS Harvard University