Name: Tim Warfield
Why did you start playing saxophone at 9 years old? It was the only instrument that I could really actually play. We were kind of introduced to instruments . . . in (McKinley Elementary School in York). I went through several. I actually wanted to play drums. Of course, as many mothers do, my mother said, "Not even possible."
Why did you switch from alto sax to tenor? Maybe around the age of 11, when I went to junior high school, I started playing around with the tenor. By the time I got to William Penn . . . my voice changed to where it is now, so I was less attracted to the alto and I switched to tenor. I think a lot of it had to do with the equation of what I could actually hear in my head
What were your musical influences? When I was really, really young, there was another wonderful tenor saxophonist from this area by the name of Chris Bacas. I remember my parents taking me to see (Bacas) and I told my pop, "Man, I'd like to play like this guy." Since then, I've had a plethora of influences (Billy Pierce, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter.)
When did you start writing your own compositions? When I went to college, I played around a little bit. I was a late bloomer when it came to actually trying to write my own music. I didn't really become . . . proficient maybe until much later. I spent a lot of time working on developing my improvisational skills.
Do any collaborations stand out? Absolutely, (I've had) the opportunity to work with more than a few jazz legends. I had the opportunity to play with Dizzy Gillespie. The other legend that I had a very personal relationship with and actually whom my latest CD is dedicated to . . . is Shirley Scott. Then I would say Christian McBride. Last, but not least, I would say the opportunity to play with Nicholas Payton.
Do you think there is a local audience for jazz? I don't think there is really a big audience anywhere. (Laughs) It doesn't mean you can't make a living, but it pretty much means you're not going to be a rock star. I've been playing in clubs in central Pennsylvania . . . since I've been 16 years old. So the answer is yes, there is definitely a market. I think jazz is for a select few and an acquired taste.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF