It’s that SJ SaxMas time of year

By Ande Jacobson

The Thanksgiving feast is over with friendships and family love refreshed, and it’s that wonderful time of year when holiday music is plentiful and spirits are high. Yes, it’s that time of year when the saxophones return to San Jose to start the next quarter century of a festive holiday tradition, San Jose Saxophone Christmas, or SJ SaxMas for short. Continue reading

SJ SaxMas is coming to town!

SaxMas for the last time at Vallco in 2017

By Ande Jacobson

For some, the holiday season starts when decorations begin appearing all over town, which these days could happen as early as July. For others, it’s Thanksgiving. That feast signals the start of gatherings with friends, family, colleagues, or even among friendly strangers on the street. For others still, it’s when those ubiquitous brass quintets start playing all over enticing listeners to drop a few cents (or dollars) into their bright red kettles. None of those can hold a candle to the thrill that has enthralled San Jose on the third Saturday of December for over two decades (in 2018, it’s the 15th, the earliest possible date). That fateful day marks the holiday tradition known as the San Jose Saxophone Christmas, or SJ SaxMas for short. This year marks the 25th Annual SJ SaxMas, and it’s set to be the biggest yet. Continue reading

Spreading holiday spirit and wishing a very merry SaxMas to all!

By Ande Jacobson

Music is in the air this holiday season. While San Jose’s 24th Annual Saxophone Christmas is over, on 16 December 2017, 217 saxophonists playing everything from sopranino to bass saxes spread the joy of holiday music through the air at both Christmas in the Park and Vallco. To get a sense of what this event was like and raise your holiday spirits, please enjoy the following sampling of several selections from previous San Jose SaxMases. Continue reading

Saxophones and singers – the perfect holiday combination for 2017

By Ande Jacobson

Music is in the air this holiday season. While there are numerous concerts and stage productions to choose from, there are two musical events fast approaching in the South Bay that are not to be missed.

First up is the 24th Annual San Jose Saxophone Christmas on the third Saturday in December (the 16th this year). In recent years, there have been around 200 musicians (215 in 2016) playing everything from soprillo saxes (the smallest commercially made saxophone in existence) to sarrusophones and bass saxes along with everything in between. Some years, there is even a tubax or a contrabass sax (the biggest of the saxophone family). Continue reading

Calling all saxophonists – sign up for San Jose’s 22nd Annual Saxophone Christmas today!

saxmas-2015-ornamentBy Ande Jacobson

Yes, I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but December is fast approaching, and that means that if you are a saxophone player (no matter your level) it’s time to sign up to play in this year’s San Jose Saxophone Christmas. You’ve never heard of Saxophone Christmas? Well, for over two decades, a whole bunch of saxophonists get together on the third Saturday in December to join in the fun playing holiday music. Continue reading

Enjoy 2 FREE holiday musical treats on 19 and 20 December

A Musical Theater ChristmasBy Ande Jacobson

It’s December, and Christmas is fast approaching. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with the gift of music – and the best part is that this gift is free! First, “A Musical Theater Christmas” will be presented at 7:30 PM on Friday, 19 December, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in downtown San Jose. Next, on Saturday, 20 December, it’s time for the 21st Annual San Jose Saxophone Christmas ( with two performances only at 2PM at Christmas in the Park in San Jose and at 5PM at Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino. Continue reading

Saxophones are coming to San Jose as we countdown to 15 December

SJSaxmas2010_fbBy Ande Jacobson

Sacramento’s 2012 Saxophone Christmas is history, but San Jose is in for a treat on 15 December.  In addition to the many favorites on the program, founder Ray Bernd promises three special new arrivals at this year’s San Jose event.  Alas, he’s keeping them close to the vest until show time. Continue reading

Better than Santa – Saxophone Xmas is coming to town

By Ande Jacobson

As the holiday season approaches, the one event that stands out above all others isn’t Santa Claus’ arrival.  No, for a reed player at least, it’s that San Jose tradition – Saxophone Christmas.  This year marks the 19th annual gathering where saxophonists of all levels and ages convene on the third Saturday in December (this year the 15th) to renew friendships and make merry playing holiday music on every kind of saxophone one can imagine.  From the tiny, pen-sized soprillo, to the 1.9 meter tall contrabass sax, this is an event not to be missed.  Fear not, the standard alto, tenor, and baritone saxes that you’ve seen in school bands will be there as well, along with many others. Continue reading