MPR’s Jo Ann Shroyer profiles Minnesota jazz saxophonist, composer, and educator Irv Williams. Shroyer interviews Williams about his career, the local jazz scene, and on being honored with “Irv Williams Day” on November 24th.
(00:00:05) Jazz artist her of Williams first came to Minnesota when he was 19 years old. He was traveling the ballroom circuit then Chicago Clear Lake, Iowa, Austin, Minnesota and Fargo somehow or other he ended up coming back and staying here after a while the life on the road lost its glitter. Although he has traveled the world playing a saxophone,
(00:00:23) but I never spent too much time. I know because I had a family And I always put my family
(00:00:31) first as a result. He says he may not have been the star. He might have been but he says he wasn't willing to pay the dues and there are dues for that life. He says Williams was born in Ohio in 1920. He was in college Premed when he got a chance to play in a band in st. Louis.
(00:00:48) I didn't give it a second thought I went and I've never I haven't regretted it because I don't there's no doctor. I know can have the fun that I've had.
(00:00:59) Williams is performed with Billy eckstine Dinah Washington Sarah Vaughan Dizzy Gillespie as well as local artists like Percy Hughes and Shirley Weatherspoon. He spent recent years performing and teaching in the Twin Cities. He says Minnesota is a good place for
(00:01:12) jazz Minnesota. Jazz fans are the most loyal most understanding. I love the fans here think they're great. We have very small, but very vocal and very loyal bunch of people.
(00:01:28) November 24th proclaimed Irv Williams day is wonderful. He says and it recognizes what he thinks is an important part of life here music
(00:01:36) I can think of Many other guys that are just as deserving if I'm deserving, you know that just as deserving as I am. And I'd like to dedicate that day to them past and present, you
(00:01:53) know that day November 24th Irv Williams were performed in a concert at the Landmark Center part of the Jazz at Landmark series. I'm Joanne Shroyer.