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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Charles McPherson

Charles McPherson discusses artistic integrity versus commercial success.

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Charles McPherson discusses his musical style.

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Charles McPherson discusses starting out as a musician.

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Transcription

Q: “What about your music – when did you start playing?”

A: “I started playing saxophone when I was about thirteen years old in Detroit. I started in junior high school, intermediate school, and I played flugelhorn because they didn't have any saxophones. Everybody wants to play saxophone and trumpet, and so the band instructor said, "Well, you can't do it. You've got to play this or that or that or flugelhorns." So I chose flugelhorn because it was like a trumpet, you know. And I wanted to play saxophone or trumpet, but then so I started out on flugelhorn and every now and then, I would play trumpet, you know, and I did really like trumpet. I think I could have been a trumpet player. But then I like saxophone, too, and my mother got me a saxophone when I was about thirteen or fourteen and I just started playing alto.”