Saxophone player Noah Barr and trumpet player Rafael de Ocampo — juniors from Redmond High School — graced the KNKX studios Dec. 6 as guest DJs for the evening. Listen to the show and read a Q&A with Barr.
Why do you play saxophone?
Barr: My brother and sister had played it and before me, and after starting on clarinet my middle school band director gave me the opportunity to switch to sax, an offer which I quickly took. I still play because of its versatility.
What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
It’s hard to choose a favorite, but anything off of “Central Park North” by the ThadJones/Mel Lewis orchestra is great, specifically "Big Dipper." The way the saxophones worktogether, the tightness of the overall band, and the energy they bring to the songs isjust amazing to listen to. I also listen to some smaller combo music by artists such asDexter Gordon and Kenny Garrett.
Who is your jazz hero?
I feel like most saxophone players look up to the old greats like Bird, Coltrane,Lester Young, etc., but in terms of modern players Eric Marienthal’s technical facilityon the instrument is something I aspire to, as well as the tone and clear sound of ArtPepper.
I’ve always had a strong emotional connection with music, but jazz just makes mefeel a different way that can’t be described. It’s just more energetic and feels freerthan any other genre. Playing jazz is unlike playing any other type of music becauseyou can express anything through your playing and it can’t be wrong.
NOAH AND RAFAEL's PLAYLIST
"The Chicken," Jaco Pastorius (The Birthday Concert)
"Compared to You," Maynard Ferguson (Big Bop Nouveau)
"Impressions (Take 3)," John Coltrane (Both Directions at Once)
"Strasbourg/St. Denis," Roy Hargrove (Earfood)
"There's the Rub," Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band (Swingin' for the Fences)
"Sandu," Clifford Brown/Max Roach (More Study in Brown)
"Perhaps," Charlie Parker (Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes)
"Spain," Chick Corea Return to Forever (Light As a Feather)
"In a Mellow Tone," Count Basie (On the Road)
"I Can't Get Started," Maynard Ferguson (The Essence of Maynard Ferguson)
Follow Noah Barr on Instagram: @barrochocolate