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  • Jazz Saxophone
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    Darryl BarberOffering private lessons in
    Mercer Island, Washington
    About MeContact Me
    I have been a saxophonist and professional musician for most of my life and have taught both in the United States and Europe. I realize how fortunate I am to have music as such a big part of my life and I am very grateful to those who have been my mentors and for the experiences and opportunities I have had and continue to have. I am also grateful and have always been inspired to have the opportunity to share the knowledge and understanding that I have been so blessed to have benefited from. Teaching is a natural progression for me primarily because of the generosity of those that I have learned from and have been inspired by. For this reason, I believe that paying it forward is just the right thing to do.

    I began studying saxophone with Ullyses Jabo Ward and Joe Brazil who are still considered legendary in the Seattle area. Through Joe who was also a professor at the U.W. I was able to meet and on occasion perform in his Big Band setting with touring musicians primarily from New York that were performing in Seattle. Joe was respected by and knew everyone. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to witness many informal clinics and should the occasion present itself to share the bandstand with Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, McCoy Tyner and Joe Henderson. This was during a very rich period of the Jazz scene in Seattle. Experiencing this cultural richness, the grace, knowledge, wisdom and generosity of these greats left me with no doubt as to what I wanted to continue to pursue in my life. After a performance playing the music of the great Joe Henderson I finally got up the courage to ask if I could possibly study with him.......he said, of course. I immediately moved to San Francisco where Joe lived and embarked on a musical journey with him as my teacher and life mentor. Along with my private lessons I enrolled at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University where I experienced being a part of various ensembles and orchestras there. Studying with Joe was intense and at times went on for hours using the old school philosophy with an emphasis on the complete understanding of what was assigned to work on before the lesson ended. If I were to develop amnesia the next day I was able to simply call and I would be right back on track. In addition, there were many opportunities to play on the local Bay Area Salsa, Latin Jazz and Funk scenes and I was fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of that with people like the great Cuban percussionist Armando Parraza, Pete and Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E), Hadley Caliman who later taught at Cornish and many others. I was fortunate to be able to get a scholarship to Berklee College of Music where I continued my studies for four years. Upon leaving Berklee I moved to Europe.

    Teaching Background:
    In Europe, I immediately began teaching at Den Alternative Rythmisk Konservatorium in Copenhagen, Denmark which became my base and where I lived for ten years. While at the Konservatorium I was the primary saxophone teacher also teaching ear training,
    Jazz History and various Jazz ensembles. I have had the enjoyment of having hundreds of students, some that have gone on to great careers both in Europe and the United States. During this period I was also able to perform throughout Europe and eventually moved to Oslo, Norway to teach privately, perform and compose music for documentaries and short films.

    Teaching Philosophy:
    My teaching philosophy is a simple one. I believe that music is for everyone and everyone should have the opportunity to experience this wonderful form of expression. I believe that the study and performance of the saxophone should be Serious Fun, by that I mean if the application is put forth with consistency, the student cannot help but reap the benefit of their effort with the proper guidance and performance experience. There will come a time when that light bulb moment will happen and the saxophone student will feel within her or himself the joy, excitement, power, confidence and understanding of what the saxophonist is developing for themselves and realize that they too are a part of something that so many greats who have come before them have contributed to. I also play piano and will use that wonderful instrument in conjunction with the lessons on improvisation from time to time depending on what the student and I are working on. Each student is different and comes in from a different level and perspective. I do believe that a solid foundation is essential and I use material from both classical and Jazz/standards repertoire that I feel will be of the greatest benefit. I can teach at home or come to the student. Reasonable rates.