In a music community populated with remarkable tenor saxophonists, Cliff Colón’s raw expressiveness and ability to channel the purest of emotions into each note, sets him apart from the pack. His proficiency, and unabashed expression, has aided him in becoming a definite leader, innovative soloist, and an in demand sideman and instructor. Colón has merely scratched the surface of the long and promising musical career that lies ahead.
Cliff’s solos will take you to a different place. Although a learned student of Jazz, he admits he is not a purest. Cliff’s ideas translate beautifully to Rock and Soul Music with a finesse found only with“A” list performers. This boy can definitely blow!!! [FREDDY PINK]
Colón grew up in the Tacoma, Washington area and immediately took an interest in studying jazz. During his early musical development, Colón began performing in various church groups, which ended up being a heavy influence in the gospel and soul aspects of his playing. During his early 20′s, Colon was a regular performer in the greater Seattle area jazz and fusion scene. After experimenting with Drum N Bass and Jungle genres, Colón and his now wife, vocalist Sommer Stockinger, formed a 10-piece 70′s funk band named Players Club which features the areas premier R&B musicians. This submersion into funk and R&B further expanded Colón’s resume of musical influences, which were starting to become very eclectic and well rounded.
Cliff is a brilliant and saxophonist here in the Pacific Northwest continually amazing audiences with every performance. Jazz, funk, hip-hop, or you name it….Cliff’s playing is expressive and exciting.[McTuff]
Now in his 30′s, Cliff Colón is an in demand band leader, sideman, studio recording artist, educator, arranger in all aspects the Western Washington music scene. He has performed with many of the top bands, of any genre, in the local music scene and has also performed with numerous national acts.
What kind of saxophone do you play?
Tenor: Selmer Mark VI with metal Yanagisawa mouthpiece (5*) and Vandoren Java 2 1/2 reeds.
Alto: Selmer USA with RPC hard rubber and Vandoren 3 reeds.
Soprano: “Whatever one I can borrow from a friend” with RPC hard rubber and Vandoren Java 3 reeds (my Super Action 80 Series III was stolen).
Who were your teachers?
I was very fortunate to have studied with the following local saxophonists in the Seattle/Tacoma area: Tracy Knoop, Mark Taylor, Saul Cline and Robert Bergeson. Each of these fantastic saxophonists were very influential in my early musical growth and taught me different areas in the art of playing the saxophone. Outside of that, my instructors were the jazz and funk greats who I obsessively transcribed and imitated. I also began booking many local musicians who were also great instructors to learn from while performing on stage in front of an audience (I would usually always give up my gig share and dip out of pocket to play with these musicians on stage). These were some of my BEST private lessons; getting smoked on stage by much superior musicians on a regular basis!
Who are your favorite saxophonists?
Too many to list! Here are the first ones that come to mind (in no particular order): John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Cannonball Adderley, Bob Mintzer, Dexter Gordon, Pete Christlieb, Lenny Pickett, Chris Potter, Brandon Fields, Wayne Shorter, Warne Marsh, Miguel Zenón, David Sanchez, Maceo Parker, Hank Mobley, Stan Getz, Gene Ammons, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Grover Washington Jr, Bob Berg, Eddie Harris, David Sanborn, Rick Margitza, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Don Myrick, Bob Reynolds, Marcus Strickland and MANY more!