Friday, September 13, 2013

Sax Attack

9/12/13 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Stillman & Birn Beta
Jazz saxophone music drifted lazily around the Queen Anne Farmers Market. I was sitting in the shade at a comfortable communal table, finishing up my butter toffee crunch ice cream from Parfait and wishing that the table faced something a bit more sketchworthy than the backs of the vendors’ tents. I licked up the last of my scoop and went looking for the source of the music.

He looked familiar, and I realized I had sketched him last year at Phinney Farmers Market, but he had worn a hat then. I was enjoying the music and still wanted to add more details to my sketch, but I could see that he was packing up to leave. I didn’t want him to go before I’d had a chance to drop money into his case, so I went over to him and learned his story. Boyd Phelps had had a stroke a while back, and he had to re-learn all of his musical skills. He now plays with the jazz band Sax Attack. According to his website, “Boyd was the first person to earn a doctorate in music with emphasis in saxophone performance and literature at the University of Washington.”

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