It’s not every day that my phone rings and I answer to a greeting from one most influential musicians alive, but last Tuesday just happened to be one of those days. Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member and baritone saxophonist, Roger Lewis, called from his home in New Orleans to discuss the band’s upcoming visit to Sarasota, where they plan to rock the party as the headlining act during the Ringling International Arts Festival’s closing night bash.
The septuagenarian has been playing the saxophone for six decades and has been touring the world with legends like Fats Domino for nearly half a century, but he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down yet.
“I’ve only been playing for 60 some-odd years, but I’m still developing,” Lewis said. “Jazz musicians don’t retire — we play until our caskets drop. People ask me if I ever plan on retiring and I say ‘Retire for what? I’m just learning how to play the saxophone.’”
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