This is an evolving story. It's
the story of a senior citizen, a teen-age music student, a famous
jazz musician and his equally famous saxophone.
For us the story began in early
November 2010, when Mr. Larry Brown, of East Orange, came to
Cicely Tyson School looking for a saxophone teacher. Mr. Brown is
59 years old and had never really played the saxophone before,
but his lifelong musical "hero" was jazz musician Junior Walker.
born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr.
(June 14, 1931 November 23, 1995)
Junior Walker died in 1995, but
the man who felt the loss most was Larry Brown, who let it be
known that the world and our nation had lost a great treasure.
Mr. Brown was instrumental in having June 14th, Junior Walker's
birthday, proclaimed as "Junior Walker Day." The family
of Junior Walker appreciated Mr. Brown's enthusiasm and gave him
the gift of Junior Walker's famous Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone.
Mr. Brown has taken the gift of
music quite seriously. He came to Cicely Tyson School on 11/16/10
to find a teacher so that he could learn to play the Junior
Walker (JW) Saxophone. He will devote the next few months working
in one of the Cicely Tyson practice rooms with his chosen
teacher, practicing his saxophone and learning his craft.
For the moment, Darian
Bravo is his instructor, giving Mr.
Brown lessons on the fundamentals of music technique and jazz
importation. Darian is much more than "just" a
sousaphone player in the East Orange Unified Marching Band. He
has spent his elementary and secondary school years immersing
himself in all types of music, from classical to jazz to the
latest hip-hop and rap. He plays a wide variety of musical
instruments achieving a mastery level on most. Mr. Brown chose an
excellent student of music to be his instrustor.
The Instructor quickly becomes
the instructed as Mr. Brown teaches Darian the history of Jazz
through the many famous musicians who touched his life as Junior
Walker had. Mr. Brown gave Darian a list of musicians to listen
to and learn from.
Darian is amazed at the beauty of
the JW Saxophone.. It has been kept in great condition. This is
by far the most expensive and famous instrument that Darian has
ever held, and he handles it reverently.
Junior Walker had his initials (JW) engraved on
his saxophone. In addition, each Selmer saxophone bears a serial
number that identifies it as a unique instrument.
The name "FERREE," which is engraved
on the saxophone, refers to a well known instrument repair person
by the name of Clifford Ferree. This is an instrument with a
long history inside it and surrounding it. Anyone who touches it
and plays it becomes part of that history.