Award Winning Sax Player Shows He Can Teach, Too

On Tuesday May 4 Long & McQuade in Kamloops, BC hosted multiple award winning saxophonist Campbell Ryga. Ryga presented a free clinic that was very well attended. The audience consisted of young music students, local band members, some older musicians, who are still students and maybe a fan or two who just wanted to hear him play.

Nobody was disappointed. During the first part of the presentation Ryga talked about his career and also discussed the teachers that had encouraged him in his formative years. He talked about teaching at Cap and Kwantlen in the Lower Mainland. Ryga had a wonderful rapport with the younger students that sat in the front section of the room.

He asked them questions and complemented their answers. Ryga talked about the necessity of practicing if you want to continue with music studies. He illustrated a number of exercises he used, some involving using other audio aids and some without. He eventually got into the more technical aspects of saxophone playing and use of the larynx, lips and embochure. He fielded questions from the audience with aplomb and often had anecdotes involving famous jazz musicians included in his answers, such as the great Paul Desmond and Art Pepper.

He also mentioned the importance of also learning classical music. Ryga, kindly, brought some of his awards for others to see, too. He commented that he was most pleased with the Jazz Report Award as it was voted on by his peers.

While I am not a musician, I thoroughly enjoyed Campbell Ryga’s presentation. He proved that he is a valuable addition to the music community of Kamloops. It was also great that Long & McQuade provided the venue for this clinic.

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