A saxophonist is a solo, usually professional, musician who plays the saxophone. There are a variety of saxophones, such as soprano, alto, tenor and bass, and saxophonists will usually specialise in at least one of these types.
Usually made of brass, the saxophone bridges the gap between the woodwind and brass sections, producing a full, resounding sound.
Packing a big punch, from pure and powerful to soft and subdued, saxophonists are wonderfully expressive and extremely versatile. They can perform a wide range of musical styles that are sure to give you and your guests goosebumps – from funk, jazz and pop to soul, blues and RnB, and even classical arrangements. They can perform solo, over high-quality backing tracks or alongside other musicians. They’re always in high demand, and are perfect for a range of occasions, such as cocktail parties, corporate functions, weddings and private parties.
Saxophonists can blast a broad range of musical styles to suit whatever tone you’d like to set at your special occasion. You can expect music from artists such as:
Many of our saxophonists will also perform showtunes and film and TV themes. The repertoires of each of our saxophonists are shown on their profile pages.
From old school jazz, swing, middle of the road jazz standards, and blues music, a jazz and blues saxophonist will perform a huge variety of songs, creating various atmospheres, from smooth and chilled to lively music to strut to, and everything in between! Saxophonists will cover music from artists such as Duke Ellington, Louise Armstrong, Cannonball Adderley, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Bublé.
One of the smaller saxophones, the soprano sax has a higher register than the alto, tenor and baritone (discussed below), pitched one octave below the tenor sax. Less popular than alto and tenor saxophones, the soprano sax sounds similar to an oboe. Soprano saxophones come in a variety of neck shapes, from slightly- and fully-curved to completely straight. The straight version looks a lot like a clarinet. Often featured in classical and jazz music, famous soprano sax players include Christine Rall, Kenneth Tse, Sidney Bechet, Lucky Thompson and Grover Washington Junior.
Bigger than the soprano sax, but smaller than the tenor, the alto saxophone is one of the most common saxophones, often used in classical and jazz music, and in military and marching bands. While all saxophones share common fingerings, the alto is one of the hardest saxophones to play. It’s been the instrument of choice for a wide range of sax virtuosos, such as Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Sonny Stitt, Otis Murphy, and Marcel Mule.
A medium-sized member of the saxophone family, the tenor is one of the most commonly-played saxophones, regularly used in classical music, marching bands, and jazz. The one with the curvy bend in its neck, it’s pitched one octave below its soprano cousin. Many pioneering saxophonists have played the tenor sax, including John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.
One of the biggest members in the saxophone family, the baritone sax has a low pitch. It has a ‘Q’ loop at the neck and is usually played with a harness strap worn around the saxophonist’s shoulders to counterbalance its cumbersome weight. It’s often used in classical music, jazz, funk, blues and soul bands, as well as military bands and musical theatre. Famous baritone saxophonists include Harry Carney, Scott Robinson, Pepper Adams, and Stephen Kupka. It’s also the instrument of choice for TV’s smallest virtuoso, Lisa Simpson!
Our saxophonists provide performances for private and corporate events both internationally and nationwide, most frequently performing in:
With a wide variety of musical styles and repertoires, a saxophonist can be a flexible entertainment option. They can set a lively, fun and funky atmosphere, perform chilled jazz tones for a relaxed vibe, or play arrangements of classical compositions for a quirky twist at your event. Whatever mood you’d like to create, a saxophonist can provide attention-grabbing evening entertainment or lively background music for a wide range of events, such as:
Usually performing in the afternoon and early evening, providing the backdrop to drinks receptions and cocktail parties, a saxophonist will give your event the real ‘wow’ factor. Your guests will be amazed by the all-encompassing, expressive nature of the instrument.
Usually standing up while they perform, most solo saxophonists require a performance space of around 2 square metres. For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a saxophonist need?’, below.
The approximate costs for Alive Network’s saxophonists are summarised in this table:
|Type of Artist||Cost Range|
|Solo saxophonists||£195 – £800+|
|Saxophone quartet||£650 – £995|
Selecting a musician local to your venue can help to minimise travel time and costs – our musicians’ home area is listed on their profile page. However, as travel cost can be nominal, this needn’t be an issue. Your dedicated Entertainment Coordinator can discuss this with you, and recommend a range of great saxophonists for your event.
These are our top UK saxophonists who we believe are currently blasting away the competition, based on a variety of popularity, originality, and fantastic performances:
Most saxophonists perform two 45- or 60-minute sets, or three 45-minute sets, usually with a break of around 30 minutes in-between. Many will also offer the option to play shorter sets or for longer, so you can select the performance options that fit best with the schedule for your event.
Most solo saxophonists don’t need a massive space, so they’re great if you need a performance that packs the most punch per square metre! The table below gives a rough idea how much space different saxophonist performers will need:
|Type of Saxophonist||Performance Space Required|
|Soloists:||2 × 2 metres|
|Saxophone quartet:||4 × 3 metres|
As long as they can park relatively close to the performance space at your venue, it usually takes around 30 minutes for a saxophonist to unload, setup and sound-check in preparation for their performance.
When their set is over, it can take 15 – 20 minutes to pack away and load out again.
Our saxophonists are relatively easy to look after! Before playing at your special event, they may need a few additional things to optimise their performance, such as:
Most of Alive Network’s saxophonists have their own microphones, and PA sound system or amp that they can bring for the performance.
As one of the leading saxophonist agents you can be reassured that at Alive Network, you'll find the very best selection of saxophone players from across the UK. We also hire UK based saxophonists to fly out for international events & weddings. Our five star booking service ensures it's easy to hire a saxophone player, with every booking backed up by a secure contract and 24/7 customer support. By booking with a trusted music agency you'll have the peace of mind to get on with enjoying your event!
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