Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

Selmer Super Action Series 80 Alto Saxophone
Jody Jazz DV 6 Mouthpiece
Legere 2.75 or Rico Jazz Select 3M reeds

Why did you begin studying music?

When I was in the third grade, I was taught in my class how to play the recorder. From there I tried taking it a level higher by playing other tunes I knew on the recorder. This eventually led to my parents buying me a saxophone. My dad being a Jazz lover and the saxophone having very similar fingerings to the recorder, this was a perfect fit for me.
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Saxophonist Austin Gatus

Located in San Diego, CA, USA

  • Saxophonist & Singer-Songwriter
  • I have been playing Saxophone for seven years.

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By the time I was in the 4th grade I had joined my elementary school beginning band, but after the second rehearsal the teacher promoted me to advanced band and even invited me to join the middle school jazz band he instructed.This had spurred my passion for playing jazz music and led me to want to study in that genre. As I’ve grown as a musician, I’ve had the honor of gaining attention and sharing the stage with some of my idols such as Dave Koz and Kenny G. My passion for music has also led me to taking up other instruments such as Singing, Guitar, Piano, and even writing my own songs.

What are you doing with music right now?

As of now I am a Senior at Valhalla High School currently involved with the schools Jazz band and a local San Diego big band called Jazz Xpress. I also lead my own band that gigs around San Diego. We play a variety of genres from Traditional Jazz, Funk/Fusion, and even my own singer songwriter music. One of my goals and challenges when I’m writing music is to be able to blend the saxophone to fit in the songs I write. As of now I’m am currently self producing my first album that I’m expecting to release at the end of 2014. I have also been honored to have the opportunity to be a guest artist on the upcoming Dave Koz and Friends at Sea 2014 Alaska Cruise.

Who are some of your influences?

My main influence in traditional jazz is Cannonball Adderly. I am also influenced by Phil Woods and Danny Janklow. For Smooth Jazz I am heavily influenced by Dave Koz and Eric Merienthal.

Who do you/have you studied with?

I studied Jazz for two years with John Rekevics and I am currently being mentored by Dave Koz and Kenny G.

What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

In the future I plan on attending college to study and major in music. I hope to someday make a career in music performing but if that doesn’t work out I would like to produce/record for other musicians or teach and direct.

Any additional information you would like to add?

When I was 9 years old, shortly after taking up the saxophone, I was diagnosed with Leukemia, Cancer of the Blood. After three and a half years of treatment, I am grateful to be a 5 year cancer survivor. Although a hard struggle, this has led me to meeting the amazing musicians I idolize today. I met Kenny G through my local Children’s hospital and Dave Koz through the Starlight Foundation.


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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.