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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Artist Next Door: Siegfried gets sassy on sax

    UA Jazz Ensemble member Jeff Siegfried performs on his saxophone outside the Music Building.
    UA Jazz Ensemble member Jeff Siegfried performs on his saxophone outside the Music Building.

    Jeff Siegfried, a saxophone performance sophomore, began his musical career as many young musicians do.

    “”I started playing in sixth grade band,”” he said. “”I was sort of drawn to the saxophone.””

    Now, Siegfried is a member of the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble, which had a concert on Oct. 27 called “”Sassy Talk.””

    While he has specialized in saxophone, Siegfried also plays many other instruments.

    “”I play flute, clarinet; I took some voice and piano lessons and voice lessons last semester, and I played violin for a little while,”” he said.

    Siegfried plays both classical and jazz music, and sees the importance of both.

    “”I don’t think that classical saxophone would be what it is now if it weren’t for jazz saxophone and what jazz saxophone has done to bring the instrument and the voice to the public,”” he said.

    Musician that he is, Siegfried said learning the saxophone hasn’t been without challenges.

    “”There’s an old adage in the saxophone community that ‘The sax is incredibly easy to play badly, and incredible difficult to play well,’ and I really feel that way,”” Siegfried said. “”At first, in my early years it wasn’t a problem. You know you can play all the notes. It’s not hard to get things to respond well on the horn, but as the repertoire gets more difficult and advanced in style, and the technique, too, it just gets harder.””

    Siegfried also said he can control the difficulty of playing by the amount of effort he puts in.

    “”It all depends on how hard I push myself,”” he said. “”When I feel like pushing myself very hard, it’s very hard to play, and when I don’t, it’s not.””

    Working hard at his music and playing jazz saxophone has showed Siegfried a parallel for living his life.

    “”You have to let go,”” he said. “”You have to let go of the baggage.””

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