What a thrill and honor for us members of We Six to meet, hear, and perform alongside the all-time great saxophonist and composer Benny Golson this past March 18, in a concert taking place as part of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s 2nd Annual Jazz Festival. A lifelong hero to all of us who play and listen to his tunes as a treasured part of the jazz repertoire, we got to find out also just how much of a gentleman, and a kind and good-humored soul, he is—as well as hearing up close how beautifully he plays the horn, well more than half a century after his famous recordings with the Jazz Messengers and the Jazztet.

A thrill too for an audience of jazz fans and students, I trust, to hear the living legend himself render such classics as “Whisper Not,” “Along Came Betty,” “I Remember Clifford,” and “Killer Joe,” in person and in the current era. Also in the concert was Milwaukee-born and world-renowned trumpeter Brian Lynch, our artist in residence at the Conservatory, who has toured widely with Goslon, and introduced us to the grand master on this occasion. The performance took place at Weasler Auditorium on the Marquette University campus (for greater capacity than our hall at WCM), and we had a wonderful opening act in our award-winning Batterman Combo, a group of serious high-school-age jazz students who seriously set the bar high before we teachers followed onstage.

So glad to have had this opportunity and experience!