For Wayne Escoffery, the saxophone mimics the human voice
By John Devenish2022/09/29
The Artistry of… Wayne Escoffery
The sounds of music were constant when Wayne Escoffery was a child. His parents were not professional players, but the home was filled with a variety of musical sounds including R&B, reggae and soul music.
Escoffery was born in London, England. The musical variety and cultural mix of the city is a rich artistic treasure and an especially influential backdrop. While still young, he moved to the U.S. with his mother. They settled in New Haven, Conn., and it was there that he was exposed to classical music, choral and symphonic, and he sang in a boys’ choir.
Singing was, and is, a strong passion and foundation of his artistry. He started to play the sax when he was in elementary school and says he always found that the sound of the tenor sax was close to the soundscape of the human voice. The experience he had singing in the boys’ choir nurtured his love of the voice, and he credits it with making it easy for him to pick up music by ear.
The connection between love and passion for the human voice and how it plays with lines of music informs the artistry of Wayne Escoffery. It directs his sax playing and sound. His sax is one of his voices and he sings beautifully through, and with, that horn.
About The Artistry of…
The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish, made possible with the support of Yamaha Canada.