Sax Rats is a saxophone quartet – two alto saxes, a tenor sax, and a baritone sax.
It is cold this evening as we load Dan’s van, drive down, set up, begin our first set at the Holiday Stroll in Old Town, Albuquerque, with “Jingle Bells.”
There is, we agree, a need for our group to perform in public. We have our tip jar, salted with a few of our own bills.The jar is out front of us, by the street, accessible to people congregating. We will be here as long as the crowds hold up.
” In college, ” I did gigs and made $50.00 and was happy to get it ” Chris, our baritone sax player, jokes as we stand around, warm up our horns on a chilly evening.
” The other day I did a gig and still made fifty, ” he continues. ” Inflation hasn’t helped musicians yet. ”
Chadd, my music teacher, has a sign on his studio door that describes a musician as a person who will work most of their life to get enough skills to play music in public, play a ten thousand dollar instrument, drive a hundred miles to a gig in a six hundred dollar car, spend fifty dollars on drinks and food out of their own pocket, make seventy five dollars for the night’s gig and wake up with a hangover and barely enough money for breakfast.
I expect we will be back next year.