Steve Williamson, saxophonist

Who or what inspired you to take up your chosen instrument and pursue a career in music?

I have always had a real passion for music for as long as I can remember, and I can remember back very far. I used to listen to every part in the song individually, from Dionne Warwick to Mario Lanza to George Duke.  Understanding the physical make up and then eventually reconstructing it seemed to be my penchant.

As for my chosen instrument – the Saxophone – it’s almost hard to quantify my deep love and relationship with this instrument. It was most definitely love upon first seeing one. I was probably around 9 -11 years old. It’s the last thing that I see before I slumber and the first thing I see when I awake. It’s my reason for being.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

I like to think that even though I’ve been blessed to have met, performed with, recorded with and shared a moment in time with some truly great masters, I would say that Nature, the Universe and that which is greater than us all has informed my expression both in my playing and it continues to in my composition: the relationship between nature and music

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Staying true to the art has been very challenging at times. Not everyone will understand your artistic expression all of the time but life is a journey and it’s never static. The truest form of expression to me has no labels –  it just is

Of which performance/recordings are you most proud? 

I think the title track of my first record ‘A Waltz For Grace’ is very special to me. I was young when I wrote it. I was still at the Guildhall.  It was a dream come true to work with my hero, Miss Abbey Lincoln. We got on very well and we also shared a similar loss.  Back home to glory.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

My definition of success is being happy and comfortable to create.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

When I speak to aspiring musicians I try to make them understand that getting to that ‘end goal’ is completely possible. I try to make them understand that the discipline that it takes to be a good or even better, a great musician should simply be factored into their lives.

I have always believed that understanding the value, meaning and relation of every note that you are playing and why, is paramount.

I like to give them something to think about, something to reach for, but ultimately i’m imparting the importance of starting as an acorn and growing into a mighty oak. When I see a sign of a musical personality coming through I wiIl encourage them to stay on that same path as much as I can.

The Steve Williamson Experience UK tour commences on 1 May 2019 at the Purcell Room at Southbank Centre, London.

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