Learn To Play Day – Success Story #2

In preparation for this years national ‘Learn To Play Day’ we are chatting with some new players who started their musical journeys at a previous Learn To Play event. Whatever your age, there’s nothing to stop you picking up an instrument and achieving your musical dreams! Over to you Jinny…

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Learn To Play Day – Success Story #3

In preparation for this years national ‘Learn To Play Day’ we are chatting with some new players who started their musical journeys at a previous Learn To Play event. Whatever your age, there’s nothing to stop you picking up an instrument and achieving your musical dreams! Over to you Joshua…

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‘Jaws’

“I didn’t buy an instrument for the sake of the music…I wanted the instrument for what it represented. By watching musicians I saw that they drank, they smoked, they got all the broads and they didn’t get up early in the morning.  That attracted me.  My next move was to see who got the most attention, so it was between the tenor saxophonist and the drummer.  The drums looked like too much work, so I said I’ll get one of those tenor saxophones.  That’s the truth.”

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A Golden Age?

Nostalgia isn’t history; it’s too caught up with sentiment and rose-tinted recollections to let the facts and diligent research get in the way.  So, forgive me if accuracy and well-grounded judgement are casualties in my trip down memory lane to an age or at least a time which for me was and still is golden.  As The Good Book says, giants walked on the earth in those days.  And please don’t think I am setting out to brag; it just so happens that I was fortunate enough to have experienced a wonderfully rich period of jazz, and only desperate people brag about sheer good fortune.

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The Fastest Tenor in the West

He was a seventeen year-old alto saxophone player when he first joined Lionel Hampton’s band in 1945, but Gladys Hampton, Lionel’s wife, who also managed Lionel’s band, insisted that the teenager with the alto had been hired to play tenor saxophone, and no one argued with Gladys. So, Johnny Griffin started to play tenor. Before too long he was duetting with the band’s star tenor player, Arnett Cobb.  Eventually the routine of playing Hampton’s big hits night after night became tiresome.  Griffin left Hampton’s band, and, though he returned for a brief spell, he finally quit for good shortly after his nineteenth birthday.

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