Dégagé Jazz Café to host saxophone showdownWritten by Patrick Timmis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dégagé Jazz Café will host the Battle of the Saxes on July 29 and 30.
The event will feature Gunnar Mossblad, Director of UT’s jazz program, Jesse Coleman, the lead saxophonist for The JAMM Band from Detroit, and Doug Horn, a mainstream saxophonist from Ann Arbor.
Mossblad, who is also the music director for The Manhattan Saxophone Ensemble, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska’s rich jazz scene. He was deeply influenced by John Coltrane but has crafted his own musical feel.
“At this point in time I sound like me,” he said. “So whatever style I play I bring my personality to how I approach the music.”
Doug Horn said he started playing saxophone 46 years ago after watching “The Lawrence Welk Show” with his grandfather.
“Geez, you ought to play that sax,” his grandfather told him.
“I don’t know, there’s a lot of keys on there,” Horn answered.
His father brought home a tenor and an alto saxophone shortly thereafter. His mother told Horn if she had to make him practice even once, the instruments were going back.
“She couldn’t get me to stop practicing,” he said.
Jesse Coleman has lived in Toledo all his life. He was a clarinet player in his high school band when the teacher switched him to saxophone.
“That basically started me, changed my life really, to be honest with you,” Coleman said.
He said he loves saxophonists such as David Sanborn, who plays the saxophone as a solo, melody instrument.
“Smooth jazz is my element,” Coleman said. “I’ve visited 36 of the 50 states, Jamaica and Canada. That’s where my music has taken me.”
The Battle of the Saxes coincides with the 175th anniversary of the Historic Commercial Building, which houses The Dégagé Jazz Café. Performance times are 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $12 and will include 10 percent off a special dinner menu created by Dégagé chef Joseph Jacobsen. Dinner will be served either before or after a performance and cocktails and appetizers will be available during the concerts.
For tickets, stop by The Dégagé Jazz Café at 301 River Road in Maumee or call ahead at (419) 794-8205 ext. 2.