Saxophone Forum


by saxocopter
(4 posts)
6 years ago

Hi Everyone

Hi Everyone, My name's Mike and I'm a new member here at Saxquest, and I'd like to take a moment and introduce myself. I may be new to saxquest, but I'm by no means new to the saxophone having been playing for the past 27 years, 23 of those years professionally, and my association with music has been a long and happy one. It all began with piano lessons when I was seven years old, and one day when I was arrived at my piano teacher's home for a lesson I heard a most unusual sound coming from the master bedroom. It was a dark, soulful, haunting yet penetrating sound that seemed like a human voice, yet it wasn't quite human. When I asked my piano teacher what it was, she replied, "Oh, it's my husband Logan playing his saxophone." A saxophone; so that's what it was. Later on I had the opportunity to meet Logan and hear him play, and from that moment on playing the saxophone was all I ever wanted to do. But by then I was only nine years old and in the 4th grade, and had to wait until 6th grade before I was eligible to sign up for beginning band, and I anxiously waited two years for THE day... the day we could try out the different band instruments. The saxophone was the only instrument I'd tried, and despite the suggestions from the band directors the saxophone was the only instrument I ever wanted to try, and I'd never looked back! For me, the interest in jazz came one day when I was over at my piano teacher's home talking to Logan. He took me down into the basement to show me some photos. One photo showed Logan as a tall skinny kid holding a tenor and standing next to a stocky, dark-skinned black guy with an alto. "Who's that with you?" I asked. "Oh that? That's Charlie Parker." He answered nonchalontly. He pointed to another photo, this one with a slender, fair-skinned guy. "And that's Lester Young. He showed me how to play the ii-v-i progressions." I was hooked! Over the years I'd pursued different career paths including U.S. Marine, fisheries biologist, biology teacher, and helicopter pilot, but have always had my music and have always played with numerous jazz and gospel groups. Six years ago I decided on a career as a band director and have been teaching ever since. When I'm not teaching school bands or private sax lessons, I've been playing with my soul jazz combo and with the praise and worship band in my church. My playing style is influenced by Stanley Turrentine, John Coltrane, and Bob Mintzer as well as my first influence, Logan Walker (because of his association with Bird and Prez I also consider those two as my musical granddaddys). For the past three years I was playing and teaching in San Antonio until I was recently relocated to Fort Riley, Kansas, courtesy of my wife's military career. Since there isn't much in the way of music happening here in Kansas, I decided to join Saxquest as a way of connecting and connunicating with fellow saxophonists. My current goal is to enter Kansas State University this fall and pursue a masters degree in music education with emphasis in jazz studies (I currently hold a bachelor's in biology with minors in music ed, chemistry, and physics). While I may not get much playing done here in Kansas, I have been afforded much time to practice and see this as a form of sabatical like the ones Sonny Rollins used to take. I'm currently practicing about 4-6 hours a day, and with Kansas City being only two hours ago (which also happens to be Logan's hometwon), the opportunity to do more playing definitely exists. Thanks for taking to time to read my introduction, and I look forward to spending time here at Saxquest!

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  1. by saxophonist_104
    (148 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Hi Everyone

    WOW! i've put up some long posts, but that beats the heck out of my records! like you, i was inspired by hearing another person play: my sister. only thing was, she was playing for the first time, and she was a flag in the high school band. she originally played oboe, which wasn't a marching instrument, so she dabbled with the sax. when the high school band director came to our fifth grade class with a piece of paper with different instruments, i confidently circled "saxophone". and i've stuck with it ever since. the next year, i was squawking out notes on a trashy instrument and getting better each and every time we played "hot cross buns". i'm now a senior in our high school band and love it! oh, and i don't squeak/squawk anymore. i growl.

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