The smooth complex sounds of a saxophone tune can really seduce us. The instrument’s overtones appeal to us because it is like the human voice singing. If the soothing tones of one warm sax are pleasing, you can imagine the impact of having a quartet of saxophones in four part harmony. Ottawa’s only premier saxophone quartet, Sax Appeal, delivers dulcet tones for any event, from corporate to weddings.
Sax Appeal appeared on the scene in Ottawa a little over a year ago. Its founder, Jarrod Goldsmith, explains that this is the fulfillment of a love affair he’s had with music since age 13.
His journey in becoming a full time sax player is a winding road. After completing a Masters degree in archaeology, Jarrod moved to Ottawa. After a series of temporary government positions he realized that he needed to rethink his future and pursue what he really loved—music.
During the previous ten years, Jarrod played in many bands and got to know the premier players in Ottawa. When it came time to form Sax Appeal, he looked for professional musicians who wanted gigs and would commit to the quartet. Jarrod, on his part, fully engaged himself into making this work by building and executing a sound business and marketing plan and executing on them.
After a year of playing, Sax Appeal prides itself in having 1000 tunes in their repertoire. This allows them to personalize every event. They play classical, jazz and contemporary music giving them versatility so that no two gigs are alike. They can easily go from classical music for a wedding ceremony, to background jazz for the cocktail reception.
“We want to add ambiance to an event. People are surprised that we are not loud. That’s because we want to blend in” affirms Jarrod. Because they are acoustic, there is no lugging around of sound equipment or need for power.
Sax Appeal often gets asked if they have a piano player or drummer in the band because a sax quartet is relatively unknown. “No we are just four saxophone players” chuckles Jarrod, “We are creating a market for something people are not familiar with.”
Their bookings are picking up. Currently, they play equally at corporate functions as well as weddings. Jarrod spends lots of time with event planners and networking groups to raise awareness for Sax Appeal.
All the effort is paying off. Sax Appeal was featured at the 2012 Wakefield International Film Festival and on CBC’s upcoming series “Absolutely Ottawa”. Sax Appeal has been chosen as one of the key entertainment acts for the 25th anniversary of the Festival de Montgolfieres otherwise known as the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. Jarrod is excited to play “a mix of tunes that will be sure to bring out ‘oohhs’ and ‘aahhs’ as a perfect complement to the majesty of lift-off”.
Jarrod’s dream is to have Sax Appeal become the premier saxophone quartet not just in Ottawa but in Canada. The seducing sounds played by Sax Appeal along with Jarrod’s passion for the band will certainly propel them in that direction.
Article appeared in the Ottawa Council for the Arts News