Bands can be composed of any combination of instruments, but an Orléans musician has put together a unique combination: four saxophones.
Composed of a soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, the group Sax Appeal isn’t the norm in live music.
“When someone sees four saxophones playing, they do a double take,” said baritone sax player Jarrod Goldsmith, who founded the group.
Goldsmith made the decision to jump into a full-time music career after a long series of government jobs came to a close.
“About a year ago, when my last contract ended, I thought if there’s ever a time in my life (to pursue music full time), now’s the time to do it,” Goldsmith.
Having played professionally for the 10 years he’s lived in Orléans, he rounded up the three best Ottawa saxophone players he knew, and JF Picard of Barrhaven, Mike Mullin of Centretown and Dave Renaud of Gatineau joined him to form Sax Appeal.
They now play at different functions, including weddings and galas, and Goldsmith said listeners enjoy the unique sound of the four players.
“If a saxophone player has a chance to play in a sax quartet, it probably hasn’t been since university,” he said. “But they love the challenge, they like the sound of it because it’s different.
It’s not like getting lost in a big band, you’re pretty much soloing the entire time because there’s nowhere to hide.”
All four of the musicians work in music full-time, both through the quartet and other avenues.
“These guys are the best musicians I’ve ever played with,” said Goldsmith. “And the four saxophones are like four voices.”
Because they are four different types of saxophones, Goldsmith said the band enjoys the challenge of meshing the sounds together.
He’s been working to get the word out that the bands exists, and has had help from the Orléans community, specifically the AOE Arts Council based out of the Shenkman Arts Centre.
“They’ve been giving me an incredible amount of resources and feedback,” he said.
The group is gearing up to play at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, Sept. 1 to 3 at 7 a.m. as the balloons take off.
They will also play on Oct. 24 at the Shenkman Arts Centre for the Ottawa Book Awards.
“People come in and they stop and stare,” he said. “We are unique and we bring a wow factor to events.”
For more about the group, find Sax Appeal Ottawa on Facebook or visit www.saxappeal.ca.