Paquito D’Rivera

The Paquito D'Rivera Quintet played at the club 12/21/18 and 12/22/18

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Paquito D’Rivera, iconic Cuban American virtuoso of the clarinet and saxophone, composer and fourteen-time Grammy winner in both Jazz and classical categories, with a unique blend of global sensitivity.

How did you come to the instruments that you play — the alto sax and the clarinet?

My father was a classical saxophone player, and he loved jazz music. He was also the Selmer Instruments representative in Havana — BC, Before Castro. And then, he gave me a soprano saxophone when I was five years old, and he taught me how to play. And ever since then, I never, never stopped.

After learning how to play the sax from your father, did you receive any formal training?

I went to school, but in those days, they didn’t teach jazz. I learned by listening and copying Benny Goodman first, then Charlie Parker. Dizzy was the main influence in my music and in my life.

I got a soprano saxophone when I was five years old, and ever since then I never stopped playing

What are your thoughts about the future of jazz?

It looks to me like jazz was made to last forever, you know, because it’s a spontaneous way of behaving. You improvise constantly in life, so jazz is like an imitation of life. It’s the same thing. Anyone can improvise, only some people are afraid to do it. Anyone can do it. All you have to do is try. Of course, you need some talent, but you need some talent to be alive too — same thing with music.

What do you think about the club?

This club is wonderful. These people have been fighting for so long, and they do it with so much love and dedication. I am a fan of the Morganelli’s. That’s why I’m here.

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Salina Le Bris

Salina Le Bris has supported Jazz Forum Arts for 30 years as a funder, board member (this is her third stint), marketing consultant, and now as the author of the Meet the Artist blog.

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