The first Saxophone was created in 1840 by Adolphe Sax. The saxophone was extremely popular by the 1920s. However, the saxophone wasn’t considered a jazz instrument until Coleman Hawkins played it. His style was innovative when jazz and soul were on the rise. Shortly after Hawkins picked up a saxophone,  he became known as the Father of the Saxophone. However, it wasn’t long until many other saxophone players were discovered decades later as jazz was thriving.

Kenny Blake performed in Pittsburgh in 2017. Photo courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Kenny Blake performed in Pittsburgh in 2017. Photo courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette of Kenny Blake performing at the SOS Live Series, 2019

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette of Kenny Blake performing at the SOS Live Series, 2019

Kenny Blake, known as a Jazz Soul Master, grew up just east of the city of Pittsburgh. He learned to play the clarinet at a young age at Monroeville Elementary school and switched to the saxophone. He later went on to form his own band and moved to New York City and was drawn closer to the jazz scene in Greenwich Village.

Blake returned to Pittsburgh in 1974 and played among some of the best jazz musicians in history including Roger Humphries and Eric Kloss. One of the most popular bands that Blake played in was a jazz fusion band called King Solomon.