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National Saxophone Day: History and Celebration

When is Saxophone Day?

National Saxophone Day commemorates the birth of the woodwind’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, on November 6th. The saxophone is one of the main instruments in jazz music. That Day is an unofficial holiday that celebrates the woodwind instrument popularly used in jazz, classical music, and military ensembles.

Born on November 6, 1814, Adolphe Sax invented many musical instruments including the saxophone. Sax constructed saxophones in several sizes in the early 1840s. On June 28, 1846, he received a 15-year patent for the instrument.

World Saxophone Day

In 2015, the Sax Open Project, a group of music composers and saxophonists declared June 12 as the first annual World Saxophone Day. The day is part of the week long World Saxophone Congress and Festival.

Saxophone Day
National Saxophone Day. Photo: Specs online

History of Saxophone Day

The Saxophone is a woodwind instrument that was developed by a second-generation Belgian instrument designer by the name of Adolphe Sax in 1846.

His goal was to create the most powerful and adaptable brass woodwind instrument to fill the perceived gap between their respective sections. While it was initially developed to be used in classical music, the persity of the saxophone has found its way into just about every type of music you can imagine.

From its creation, there have been multiple derivations of the saxophone, from the Alto (being the most common) all the way up the scale to the Sopranissimo (a very high pitched instrument) all the way down to the Subcontrabass (the deepest throated of the saxophones). Though developed to be the balancing point between brass and woodwind instruments, the saxophone is classified, officially, as a woodwind, as days of the year.

Great saxophone masters

As the national day calendar, over the years, many great saxophone masters have graced the world with their music.

Stan Getz

Sidney Bechet

Sonny Rollins

Lester Young

Eric Dolphy

Coleman Hawkins “Hawk”

John Coltrane

Charlie Parker “Bird”

Kenny G.

Steve Cole

Jimmy Dorsey

Julian Adderley “Cannonball”

Grover Washington Jr.

Wesley Magoogan

Dick Parry

Herbie Flowers

Ronnie Ross

How to Celebrate Saxophone Day?

For most people, the best way to celebrate saxophone day is merely to indulge in the broad range of music that the saxophone has contributed to. Rock out to the great classic rock sounds of Huey Lewis and the News’s – I want a new drug, or groove the night away with some classic Kenny G. If you want to go really old-school, dig deep into the history of music and listen to L’Arlesienne Suite No. 1 & Suite No. 2 by Bizet, a fantastic example of the solo power of the sax in classical works.

For those more adventurous and musically inclined, take this opportunity to pick up this most beautiful of the woodwinds, and start practicing. Whether you aspire to the richness of classical music or the sultry seductive tones of modern Jazz, the Saxophone is definitely the instrument to take you there.

Saxophone Day is the day you can embrace your creative artist side and pe into the world of musical art.

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