If you are a fan of jazz, then you will be familiar with the essential role the sound of the saxophone played in its success. The saxophone has been called the heart and soul of jazz music and has millions of enthusiasts worldwide.
Yet would the instrument have reached these heights without the musicians who mastered it? We’re not sure that it would have and as a result we have compiled who we think are the top three saxophonists of all time.
We believe that the top two musicians on our list can be placed interchangeably as the greatest saxophone player of all time. So, without further delay, here are (in our opinion!) the top three saxophone players of all time.
If you’re a pub landlord/landlady in the process of thinking about re-opening, once lockdown measures are eased further – you may want to consider how to put bums back on seats. If you’ve never thought about hiring live entertainment as part of your offerings – keep reading this blog for an overview of what to do.
The provision of live music is widespread and can produce great nights to draw in new customers and encourage repeat business from regulars. Check that your licence allows live music and if not, apply for a variation. Keep the night(s) regular i.e. every Friday night or every first Sunday of the month - whichever night(s) you choose stick to it.
The saxophone is a wonderful instrument that adds depth and variety to many pieces of music. It is a woodwind instrument and it uses a single reed attached to its mouthpiece. The reed vibrates as the air passes through it to allowing the saxophone to produce its great sound.
In the early 1800's, Adolphe Sax noticed that there was a bit of a gap between the brass and woodwind sections of the orchestra. The gap was produced because of the relatively quiet sounds produced by the woodwinds and the lack of versatility of pitch range among the brass instruments. Therefore, he developed the saxophone which gave strength of voice to the woodwinds and flexibility to the brass.
He developed the instrument in 1841 and actually developed two different groups of the instruments. Between the Sopranino saxophone and the Contrabass saxophone, the one group of these instruments could span the entire range offered by a piano. Many of these are transposing instruments which lend a whole different set of abilities to the saxophones.
The patent that was given to Mr. Sax in 1846 expired in 1866. After the patent expired, numerous other musicians and instrument makers adjusted and added to Mr. Sax's original invention until it has evolved into the smooth handling instrument we have today.
The original saxophone keys were very basic and simple but that made some of the passages difficult to play because of the way the fingering worked on the keys of the saxophone. Therefore, those improvements have added quality and simplicity to the instrument allowing saxophonists to be able to play difficult passages of music with relative ease.
The timbre of the saxophone, while originally intended as an orchestral instrument, lends itself, however, to many different types of music. Because of its intended and achieved musical versatility, the sax is a great instrument for jazz and blues music as well as rock and roll and big band music. Its size also makes it very easy for instrumentalists in marching bands to handle.
The military band personnel play for many different functions and ceremonies including military funerals, welcoming dignitaries, swearing in of various political leaders, etc. This requires the versatility to be able to play those different types of music. The saxophone family of instruments actually has a "military band family" of saxophones such as the Subcontrabass saxophone, the baritone saxophone all the way to the sopranino saxophone.
Many of these are used in orchestral pieces and particularly jazz pieces. Famous instrumentalists such as Kenny G have albums that feature his ability to play several different instruments in the saxophone family including the soprano sax primarily but also the alto and tenor sax, as well.
Students in grade school begin to learn to play the saxophone in about the fourth or fifth grades when they join the band at school. Because of size issues, most learn to play the alto sax because it is the right size for their fingers and their stature.
The soprano saxophone, though much lighter, is considered a solo instrument and is more expensive that either the also or tenor sax. It is therefore not offered by most schools. However, alto saxophones and some tenor saxophones are can be purchased relatively inexpensively so many schools have both available.
Once a student has learned to play the alto or tenor saxophone, it is usually fairly simple to move between the instruments in the saxophone family provided you understand the theory of transposition instruments and how that functions between the kinds of saxophones available.
If you want a smooth sounding instrument that lends itself to many different musical styles, you will not go wrong in learning to play the saxophone. Start with the alto or tenor sax, learn the notes and the way to hold and play the instrument. From there, you will be able to move to other types of saxophones, should you desire to do so.
As it is, when you learn to play the sax, you will have an ability that will wow your friends and give you great pleasure at being able to pick up and play some of your favourite orchestral, jazz, or blues tunes anytime you wish.
The sound of the Sax can cater for all of your musical needs. Are you thinking, 'where can I find a great Saxophonist near me?' but don't know where to start? Call us today on 020 8088 0945 or read more about what types of events we cater for today.
Congratulations, you are getting married....that is the great part!
Yes, but now you have to plan for the wedding – this is a bug undertaking. The things you will need to think about include the dress, wedding flowers, ceremony location, venue, rings, food selection, guests list, seating arrangements, music, invitations, honeymoon plans, limos, and so on. That is the not-so-great part!
The wedding planning experience can be both uplifting, and frustrating.
This post will address how to plan the music for your wedding. Do you want a DJ or are you considering hiring a musician for your wedding? We aim to help you in your decision-making process, and hopefully reduce some stress.
Music provides a beautiful, emotional element to your wedding and reception. Moreover, the music and songs you select will also help make your wedding uniquely your own. Here are some tips on how to enhance the different phases of your wedding with music.
You'll most likely choose two different types of music for your ceremony and reception - softer, romantic music to be played or sung before, during, and after the ceremony, and entertaining or dancing music for the reception. In some cases, the same musicians are able to provide both. As an alternative, you might choose to have the church organist or soloist, or one set of musicians for the ceremony, and a band or entertaining DJ for your reception.
Should you wish to have music playing before the ceremony, instrumentals can establish an atmosphere for your guests and may include mood-setting pieces that your early-to-arrive guests can enjoy as they wait for the show to begin.
For example, in traditional Jewish ceremonies, it is common to have a pre-ceremony reception or cocktail hour during which the bride and groom have separate chambers in which to greet guests, in addition to a common area where hors d'oeuvres and drinks are served. It is festive to have musicians and possibly a singer in the common area at this time to "warm up" the guests with some soft or lively music. Even chamber music wouldn't be out of place.
For the ceremony, be sure to check with your site coordinator or officiant regarding any restrictions or limitations that might be in place on music selections. Some places of worship limit the music selections to whatever their own organist can play. However, there are numerous other options for your ceremony music, when allowed, including a harpist, violinist, string quartet, trumpeter, saxophonist, classical guitarist, keyboardist, flutist, and vocals or choir.
Your reception music can range from a refined background element during dinner to music for dancing. For example, a saxophonist, string quartet, violin or harp is a polished backdrop for your celebration, while a saxophonist, rock band or twelve-piece orchestra can provide a wider range of lively tunes. If you and your fiancé are strong music aficionados, you may even opt for different group of musicians or even a DJ alternating with a band that specializes in your favorite style(s) throughout the reception - whether it's jazz, rap or pop.
Your style choices can also reflect your ethnic heritage, such as Latin, Klezmer or Irish step. Remember that good bands, DJs and Saxophonists book up early, so you'll need to start researching your options from nine to 12 months in advance. And, of course, be sure you have the chance to hear them in action before you decide to hire them.
While a live band might seem like the ultimate in wedding reception entertainment, keep in mind that some won't have the same range of selection that a DJ might. There could also be "dead air" when the band takes their scheduled breaks, so be sure to make arrangements for something to be played during that time. If you opt for a DJ, make sure you choose one who is both experienced and fun and can play a variety of songs, from slower traditional to 50's to rock and roll to faster contemporary music for dancing.
If you'd like to give guests a performance they'll always remember, consider staging a humorous dance and/or lip-sync number to a popular tune with your fiancé and perhaps a couple of members of the wedding party. Keep it tasteful - remember, this may show up on your wedding video! But it is your wedding, so it's OK to have fun and let your hair down a little. If you and your fiancé have taken dance lessons and are proud of what you can do, go on out there and strut your stuff!
If you're still unsure about what sounds you'd like to have at your wedding or special event - look no further! We travel across the following counties: Saxophonist Essex | Saxophonist London | Saxophonist Kent | Saxophonist Surrey | Saxophonist Sussex
Hiring corporate bands, or bands who are experienced at entertaining for team building events of big corporations is always your best bet. Who wouldn't want an experienced group of entertainers, who can read the audience, understand your corporate team building purpose, and create the necessary flow of activities to make that happen.
If you are planning a wedding, no doubt you are thinking about the music for you big day, whether that's the songs you want to dance to, or the music that will play throughout the day.
You’ll remember the music and songs played at your wedding for years to come. From the moment you walk down the aisle through to your first dance, your wedding songs should reflect your personalities as a couple and hold great meaning for you both.
Whether you want to hire external musicians to play live music at your wedding, or you pt for a DJ you’ll always associate these songs with your special day. If you're feeling a little stuck on song choices, here are a few to inspire you.
Bride Entrance Songs
At Last – Etta James
Songbird – Fleetwood Mac
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Lucky – Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Your Song – Ellie Goulding
I’m Kissing You – Des’ree
Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) – Quindon Tarver
From This Moment On – Shania Twain & Bryan White
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
The Secret Wedding (From “Braveheart”) – David Arkenstone ft. Kathleen Fisher
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
Glasgow Love Theme – Craig Armstrong
Last Dance Songs
(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Never Forget – Take That
Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Marvin Gaye
All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross & The Supremes
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Daydream Believer – The Monkees
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
This Kind of Love – Sister Hazel
At Last – Etta James
Champagne Supernova – Oasis
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
Hey Jude – The Beatles
For your musical entertainment, Essex Saxophonists for Hire provide the icing on the cake. We can be booked for ceremony music, as well as for the drinks’ reception and after party.
If you want to add the wow factor to a DJ set, add a live saxophonist into the mix. Your favourite tunes will be played with a sax flavour; creating unique party that will be forever remembered.
If your wedding is in London, Essex or one of the surrounding counties, Essex Saxophonists for Hire contact us by calling 020 8088 0945.
What attracted you to the saxophone? I've been asked that question many times. Well, the sound of course. Next to the human voice it's the most expressive instrument and the one that closest resembles the human voice. Like our voices the sax, or should I say the saxophonist is capable of producing an extreme range of sounds from sad, haunting dark tones to uplifting screams of laughter.
It came from Belgium.
Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1842 making it one of the newest instruments. I've heard some people call it a brass instrument but although it's made from a certain type of brass mixture, it uses a single reed on the mouthpiece to make the sound which puts it in the woodwind family, like the clarinet. Other woodwinds are the oboe, bassoon, and bagpipes, these use double reeds. The recorder and flute are woodwinds as well but don't use reeds.
Adolph Sax drew up plans for 14 different types of saxophones.
I don't know how far he got building them all but I've heard of 10 and I've actually seen 8. They are; sopranissimo, sopranino, soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass, and subcontrabass. Some of these come in different shapes like the curved soprano and the straight tenor. The 4 most popular ones are soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone and these are the voices that make up a saxophone quartet.
Hard to imagine now but the saxophone didn't gain instant popularity... quite the opposite. Mr. Sax apparently worked hard to get his new invention to composers and band leaders but the instrumentation of the orchestra had been established for many years and nobody wanted to add a sax section, imagine that... I know a lot of sax fans that wished it would have happened differently, myself included! Sax became the first professor of saxophone at the Paris Conservatory in 1858. Method books were written and a few more composers were writing for the instrument and finally in 1885 the first one was made in the United States.
America's first sax star; Rudy Wiedoeft.
There was a bit of a sax craze in America in the early 1900's and a man who was partly responsible for it was the virtuoso Rudy Wiedoeft. Although not widely known today he was very popular in his time. He was an excellent saxophonist with classical training but recorded his own pop style, vaudeville, and novelty songs. Stylistically he was rooted in ragtime and classical - pre-jazz era. His saxes of choice were the alto and the C melody, which has been out of production since the early 1930's.
Now into the 1930's the classical saxophone had some well-known players; Marcel Mule from France, Sigurd Rascher, German/American, and later the American Eugene Rousseau. These guys were performing, recording and having music composed for them. For most classical saxophonists the alto was by far the most popular choice.
The saxophone didn't make it into the classical orchestra as a section but that didn't stop people from writing and arranging for saxophone quartets... from Bach to Bartok to Ellington.
This blog was written by Johnny Ferreira. He is an award winning saxophonist, international touring and recording artist. Advocator of saxophone music that rocks, jumps, and swings!
Congratulations on your engagement! Here is where the fun starts – planning your ‘Big Day’. Now, hold on to your hat, there is a lot to think about. Here is a quick checklist that you might like to use to help you with your preparations:
If you are looking for a wedding venue in Essex, here is our list of some of the venues that you can chose from.
Ashwells Sports and Country Club
Blake Hall Weddings
Cressing Temple Barns
De Rougemont Manor
Down Hall Hotel
Five Lakes Resort
Friern Manor Country House Hotel
Greenwoods Hotel Spa & Retreat
High House Barn Weddings
Ivy Hill Hotel
Layer Marney Tower
Little Easton Manor
Marygreen Manor Hotel
Orsett Hall Hotel
Parklands - Quendon Hall
Rivenhall Oaks Golf Centre
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Stock Brook Country Club
That Amazing Place
The Coach House, Marks Hall Estate
The Compasses at Pattiswick
The Essex Barn at the White Hart
The Essex Golf and Country Club
The Kings Oak Hotel
The Old Parish Rooms
The Old Rectory
The Rochford Hotel
The Roslin Beach Hotel
The Warren Estate
Three Rivers Golf & Country Club
Warley Park Golf Club
West Street Vineyard
Woodlands Marquee Lakeside
We hope you find this wedding list a useful resource and remember, when it’s time to think about your wedding music, we can offer you live sax music for your wedding ceremony, drinks reception or evening reception. Call Essex Saxophonists for Hire on 020 8088 0945.
Live music ideas for corporate events
Whether it's a summer corporate event, an awards ceremony, or Christmas party, finding the right live entertainment for your event can be the key to making the right impression. With such a selection of options available, choosing the right live party band or group that entertains your guests may be a bit tricky.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
If you are looking for a bit of class and sense of occasion, you might like the idea of Champagne and canapés on arrival and an upbeat jazz band playing to your guests. At the smaller end of the scale, you could look for a jazz trio or push the boat out with a fabulous swing band. Jazz bands can also cover a wide genre of music, so your guests can enjoy an array of music.
Roaming acoustic bands
It has become popular to hire live roaming acoustic bands. This consists of three of four musicians who move seamlessly around the venue playing their instruments without any amplification. They can either weave in and out amongst your guests, or if it is a sit-down event, they can move from table to table making their way round the entire room. If you want a party atmosphere later, they can play close to the dance floor at the end of the night to get your guests up on their feet.
Ibiza saxophone music
If the laid-back summer Ibiza vibe is what you are looking for, then a solo saxophonist playing the best of Cafe del Mar classics is certain to get people in a relaxed frame of mind. This gentle sound is perfect for corporate drinks receptions or evening functions. A solo sax player is the perfect way to get the ball rolling at your summer corporate party.
Live bands for dancing
Live party bands continue to be a favourite on the corporate function scene, adding heaps of energy and creating a real sense of occasion. The options for function bands are endless, whether you're looking for an almighty 12-piece band, a country style band that will get your guests trying some line dancing, or hiring a band that will play music from a particular decade – the choice is yours.
Mexican themed party with a Mariachi band
Aye, aye, aye! If you are looking for some Latin fun – hire a Mariachi band. Give your guest sombreros to wear, beer or Tequila to drink and some Mexican canapes to eat. With their traditional Mexican music, you’ll certainly create a party to remember!
Tribute bands can be so much fun. Whether it is a music legend that you want to replicate, an era that you want to relive – there is a wide variety of tribute bands that can be hired. What do you think your guests would love?
Whatever you're looking for, we hope that you are able to create an unforgettable event. If you are looking to hire a Saxophonist or a Karen Carpenter Tribute night in and around Essex, please give us a call on 020 8088 0945.