Friday, November 13, 2015

“SAXsational” free concert with OJSHS band Nov. 17

Rob Verdi, SAXsational, will perform with Orofino’s Junior/Senior High School Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Clearwater Community Concert Association (CCCA) on Tuesday, Nov. 17 is presenting a free concert to the community. This free concert was made possible through grants that were awarded to CCCA this year from U.S. Bank, King’s Store Foundation through the Idaho Community Foundation, the Greatest Needs Fund through the Idaho Community Foundation, and an On the Spot Grant from the Idaho Community Foundation.

These grants were made possible, in part, due to the tireless work of CCCA grant writer and vice president, Barbara-Lee Jordan. Included as part of the grant is a student outreach program (which is required to receive these grants).Through cooperation of Kathleen Tetweiler, Music Director for Orofino Junior/Senior High School, Orofino’s own junior/senior band will be performing with Rob Verdi in SAXsational! Additionally, musicians from the community will be performing along with them. 

Verdi will participate in a two-hour rehearsal with the band members the day of the concert. He will then play lead on a variety of saxophones at the concert itself Nov. 17 beginning at 7 p.m. at Orofino Junior/Senior High School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Student outreach programs are a wonderful tool that introduce young audiences to an eclectic mix of rare and unusual saxophones, famous saxophonists and well known popular melodies associated with Adolphe Sax’s 1846 invention. Educational content is designed for each academic level and may include clinics, masterclasses and all school assemblies.

Presentations for high school and college students include hands on participation as further advanced techniques related to jazz improvisation are explored. In our case, students will be invited to perform in the formal concert presentation. Rob Verdi’s unique teaching style and passion for music education is guaranteed to inspire young students.

Back in the early 1920’s, Vaudeville shows were the hot ticket. Saxophone virtuosos Rudy Weideoft and Adrian Rollini, along with famous saxophone ensembles such as the 6 Brown Brothers and the Schuester Sisters, were achieving great success and notoriety. The saxophone was the most well-liked instrument and a popular choice for young, aspiring music students to play in school band. 

Then, in the late 20’s, Vaudeville fell out of favor and the saxophone declined with it. With the drop in saxophone sales manufacturers such as Conn, Buescher, King, and Selmer were forced to create new designs to stimulate interest in the saxophone. What they conjured up was quite extraordinary.

In 2006 Rob Verdi launched an exciting new show entitled SAXOPHOBIA, which offered audiences a glimpse at some of the most unusual saxophones ever manufactured and paid tribute to legendary artists who contributed to the development of jazz and the popularity of the saxophone. Some of the instruments featured were a tiny curved soprano sax, straight tenor, C melody, connosax, slide sax, Grafton plastic alto, and a 6 1/2 feet tall contrabass. 

SAXsational, Rob Verdi's latest musical endeavor, has given Orofino’s high school band the opportunity to share the stage with him and his rare collection of saxophones. This guest artist program includes custom arrangements and puts our student’s center stage.

Together, Rob and Orofino’s talented musicians will explore a repertoire covering a half century of musical styles including toe tapping songs of the Roaring 20’s, hits from the swing era, and popular jazz standards. Throw in a little Pink Panther, Tequila, and Yakety Sax just for fun, and you’ve got an educational, historical and entertaining presentation.

Rob received his Music Education Degree from Arizona State University in Tempe. While in Arizona he was a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, performed in a variety of musical ensembles and enjoyed the excitement of teaching junior high music. In 1983 he was a founding member of the Side Street Strutters Jazz Band, which went on to become the house jazz band of the Disneyland Resort for 22 years. Rob continues to be a regular performer at Disneyland, conducts jazz workshops for the Disney Magic Music Days Guest Talent program and works as a freelance musician in the Los Angeles area.

His passion for collecting saxophones has resulted in a collection of over 100 saxophones and an additional 150 rare wind, brass, and percussion instruments. In 2008, Rob was featured playing his six-and-a-half-foot tall contrabass sax on the soundtrack of “Horton Hears a Who.” He hopes to someday establish a musical instrument museum where visitors of all ages can see, hear, and even play some of his rare instruments.

If you would like further information about CCCA or would like to join the CCCA you can do so by calling Sheila at 208-476-3895 or go to

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