As a baritone saxophonist in NYC I find there is more and more bass clarinet written for the baritone chair. Its a beautiful instrument and something that most baritone saxophonists should consider playing in addition.
I was thrown into the bass clarinet world in college and was woefully unprepared. So I’ve gathered some information from my experience of the last 20 years and collated it into a new article to hopefully help young (or old!) baritonists dive into the world of the bass clarinet.
Please check out the article and let me know what you think!
The Airmen of Note US Air Force ensemble has an opening for baritone saxophone. This group is one of the best military jazz bands, and would be an excellent position for anyone looking for a steady, high level musical job.
★ Annual Starting Salary: $67,676–$70,160 ★ Full military benefits ★ 30 days of vacation ★ Full medical and dental benefits ★ Post 9-11 GI Bill for college up to $80,000 ★ Four-year minimum enlistment required ★ Maximum age at time of enlistment is 39
A few weeks ago Paul Nedzela prepared a great overview and history of the baritone saxophone as part of Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy. The video is now up on YouTube! It includes a great basic history of the baritone saxophone in jazz with lots of listening examples, and at the end Paul answers a bunch of questions for everyone. If you didn’t catch the initial live stream check it out below:
There will be an excellent concert in New York City next week that is billed as a tribute to the great Howard Johnson! One of the most veteran jazz baritone saxophonists around. It looks like an excellent line up:
Taj Mahal with students of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York Symphony; Beartones (baritone saxophonists Alex Harding, Erik Lawrence, Jason Marshall, Dave Schumacher, and Lauren Sevian); Gravity with Guests (low-brass artists/tubists Dave Bargeron Music, Velvet Brown, Joseph Daley, Joe Exley, Clark Gayton, Jack Jeffers, Aaron J. Johnson, Bill Lowe, Earl McIntyre, Marcus Rojas, Jay Rozen, and Bob Stewart; with guitarist/vocalist Nedra Johnson); Levon Helm Horns (Steven Bernstein, Jay Collins) Yayoi Lina Ikawa: piano Larry Fulcher: guitar Melissa Slocum: double bass Jerome Harris: bass guitar Buddy Williams: drums
Wednesday, September 18, 7:30 PM; $100 (all proceeds support financial aid and scholarships for ISO students through ISO’s Howard Johnson Scholarship Fund)
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center 129 W 67th Street (bet. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.) New York NY 10036
Stefan Zeniuk is perhaps most known for wielding his creation, the Flame-O-Phone. He is also often part of various rock, and jazz groups in addition to many different types of unique performance art.
Stefan wrote an article for the Red Hook Brooklyn Based Star Revue paper for the 10th anniversary of his creation, the Baritone Army. They are known for bizarre and humorous appearances mostly around New York City but have expanded globally as well. One of their more extravagant projects are their videos “The Honking Dead” a baritone saxophone based parody of the popular show, “The Walking Dead”.
When I inherited and became curator of JazzBariSax.com over 10 years ago I kept the “style” delineations for all of the great baritone saxophonists in the roster. I don’t like pigeon-holing musicians since it over-simplifies their music in a distasteful way. Also, a lot of them play more than one style and span many eras. However, since this site serves a lot of new-comers to the baritone saxophone I have left them intact to make the journey a bit simpler and easier.
There is one style that was left out and I am ashamed to say I have been remiss in addingt until now. There is now a “Latin Jazz” category for this site. Currently there are only a few players there so far (the late Mario Rivera, and the excellent and still thriving Pete Miranda), but I hope to add more soon.
PS – I also added a page for jazz baritonist George Barrow. An unknown, but often heard baritone saxophonist with an incredible discography – perhaps most notably splitting baritone duties with Danny Bank on the famous Oliver Nelson Album, Blues and the Abstract Truth.
There are never as many options for a baritone saxophonist as there are for the other saxophones. This is true for brands of horn, mouthpieces, cases, and perhaps especially instrument stands. From a business perspective it makes sense – baritone products are larger, harder to make, need to be able to handle more weight/force and of course are harder to sell since there are less baritonists out there overall. But today I would like to review a product that now goes with me to every rehearsal and gig.
Gijs van Leeuwen is from the Netherlands and has created a company called Woodwind Design. As far as I can tell he has been around for a while, mostly making specialty stands for woodwinds, especially clarinets out of interesting materials, often beautiful woods and other materials. In the last few years however he has developed new carbon fiber stands that he crafts in his workshop (garage?). We mentioned the stands a couple years back. Carbon fiber is quickly becoming a very popular material, not only for its sleek futuristic look but also because it is incredibly strong yet lighter than many metals of the same weight. Its being incorporated more and more into many instrument cases – although beware, some case manufacturers offer a carbon fiber “finish” that looks like but is not actual carbon fiber. Gijs is a woodwind player himself, but also a tinkerer and inventor. His stands in my opinion are the best option for baritone saxophone available.
Low Bb tube with Conn 12M
For many years I traveled around New York City and the east coast playing gigs and rehearsals without a saxophone stand. I have had plenty before, big solid steel ones, and even the lighter K+M plastic ones, but without a car it just wasn’t feasible to carry them to gigs, especially if I had a bag, music stand, and bass clarinet! So the horn inevitably got put onto the floor between sets and sometimes quickly put down all too harshly if there was a quick instrument switch mid song. The horn of course got battered and dinged, which as a baritone player you almost get to the point where you can live with it. With Woodwind Design’s new carbon fiber stands I carry a baritone stand in my case every day – while barely adding any extra weight – quite the life changer.
I have been using the stand nearly every day for 2 years – each stand has a unique serial number and my first stand was #4! The stand has held up beautifully and is in almost like new condition. After putting together a bulk order for a number of NYC saxophonists I received a newer updated stand, and I am very pleased that Gijs continues to improve and upgrade the design, the newer design is even more ingenious (and lighter!) than the first. Check out the photo gallery below, or the video from Gijs as well.
Great features of the Woodwind Design stand:
Carbon Fiber tubes sized precisely so they fit nested perfectly into one another to save space
The tubes will easily fit into the bell or in a side pocket of a case, the bell holder can be stored on the bell in the case – no extra bag for the stand needed
The whole stand weighs only 1.1 pounds!
Carbon fiber is strong and will not break easily, also seems to hold up well over time
4 leg design compared to most stands 3 leg design is much more stable, less likely to tip over
Screw on Bell holder allows for left to right adjustment if the bell on your saxophone brand is off center
Available for both Low Bb horns and Low A horns! You can even purchase an extra tube that allows one stand to function for either.
Rubber feet inset to the end of each foot tube keep the stand from sliding
Locking system makes sure that the upper tube that holds the bell does not move, as well as the bell holder
Alignment markings on each tube to make sure the feet and properly lined up
Rubberized bell holder is slightly bendable, adapts to each bell for secure hold and will not damage the horn
Each hole and tube are different sizes, so it is obvious to assemble
Woodwind Design Carbon Fiber stand
There are very few downsides to these stands. The main one is cost. They simply aren’t cheap! But carbon fiber as a raw material to work with is very expensive and each stand is had made and fit in the Netherlands. The next downside is how long it takes to get one – the wait can be up to several months from the time you order the stand – and so far they aren’t really distributed and sold in any stores that I know of. The last downside is that because these are hand finished stands, if you happen to lose a single tube, in order to replace it you have to send parts back to the Netherlands for a new tube to be fit precisely to the existing stand – but it can be done.
The stands are also available for all of the other saxophones, and possibly of more interest to baritonists, for bass clarinet as well! Those stands are also the most portable option for bass clarinet. JazzBariSax.com has a small stock of saxophone and bass clarinet stands available for sale. Please contact us if you are interested!
It looks to have a pretty decent starting salary, and great benefits. The band is an excellent one and will probably be a great job for those who fit the requirements. For more information check out their website:
Baritone Saxophonist, Brian Landrus is in the middle of producing a new album. It will be a concerto for the baritone saxophone, featuring a complete orchestra (in the classical sense, not the colloquial term for a big-band). Brian is an adventurous musician, writer and a great player – and this album will feature him playing in an orchestral setting with a vast number of genres blended and utilized. You can join his project at ArtistShare and follow along with the progress of the project and receive the final recording when its done. I’m really looking forward to hearing the end result and have another piece of repertoire for baritone saxophone. Click here to see Brian’s project.