Herb Scott started with a pencil sax

MR. HENRY’S. — If you’re willing to start learning the saxophone on a pencil, you’re one driven musical son of a bitch! But that’s exactly how Herb Scott, one of Washington D.C.’s favorite saxophone players and the founder of the weekly Capitol Hill Jazz Jam at Mr. Henry’s, got started.  Over his career, Herb has performed…

Ian Trewhella’s first solo was an ambush

OSLO, NORWAY — Ian Trewhella learned how to play a saxophone solo the hard way: He was ambushed.  Ian was 14 years old and playing second tenor saxophone in a big band. His teacher, Sid Warren, was playing first saxophone. “It was very sneaky what Sid did, to be honest,” Ian told me. “He told…

“I thought improv was impossible”

THE BLACK CAT, SAN FRANCISCO — What do you do when you’re only 11 years old, you think improvisation is impossible, and your teacher tells everyone in the class to stop playing until you do a solo. It was a make-or-break moment for young Irwin Hall, but it set him on the course to become…