Clarke and sax on fire
at the recent Tin Pan Alley concert, and it was there that Clarke spoke to BUZZ about how the group was formed and how he has shaped his musical path.
“Saxes On Fire began in August for CARIESTA Youth Concert, inspired by Summer Horns, which is a [collaboration by] Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, and Richard Elliot, four of the biggest sax names in smooth jazz. They play a lot of the 80s and 90s pop hits, Earth Wind And Fire, Stevie Wonder and Motown music.
“I wanted to work with young players that have the same passion, the same drive, the same love for their instrument and music because I know that as a youngster building a brand and trying to get gigs it’s pretty difficult to get the opportunity. The guys I work with in Saxes On Fire, I’ve known them from seeing them at school. Two of them are at Combermere, one is at Barbados Community College and one graduated last year. It started to create a door for them to perform,” he said.
While Tin Pan Alley was only their second gig, Clarke said “if all goes well”, he, Kofi Giles, Kymani Gilkes, Zukele Inniss and Romario Wilkinson could be playing at the Holetown Festival and Holder’s Season next year.
The saxophonist said that with Gilkes and Inniss still at school, they rehearse using social media, given that they are not always able to get together. He explained that the song chosen is posted in a group chat with specifics on the harmony and arrangements, then each saxophonist has “homework” to do, and when they get together they play and make adjustments to suit.
Concerning his career, Clarke told BUZZ that he had his parents’ support. He noted that he had learnt a lot from his mentor Arturo Tappin and shared that knowledge with younger musicians.
“He’s told me to be a brand in demand. I tell all the youngsters coming up to ‘go to every gig, or every jam session regardless of the pay; play, network and make friends and eventually people will start talking about you’. They have to get out there and advertise the product. If you have a product and nobody knows about it, it’s not going to sell.
“You never know who is watching. You may go do a gig and either one of the musicians has to travel, gets sick or just can’t make it and you’re recommended. You go there and somebody in the audience is listening and asks, ‘Can I get
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After the premiere night, Sealy praised the performances while public relations officer for the event, Jacqueline Collins, said she was satisfied with the response to the event despite having to push it back from the original date.
She recalled that the revival of the historical show was postponed from the original date owing to bad weather and the closing ceremony of CARIFESTA.
The internationally acclaimed presentation with the Pinelands Creative Workshop highlighted Barbadian culture through colourful performances, some drama and skilfully choreographed routines.
The event featured folk singing, a stilt walker, the Mother Sally, performers who depicted the traditions and rhythms of the Spiritual Baptist movement and dancers who depicted the revelry of Kadooment Day. (TG) you to play at my wedding’? You go play at the wedding and somebody else that’s there says, ‘I’m a food and beverage manager at a hotel…’ This is how it goes; this has happened to me,” he said, chuckling. (GBM)