, Salem, MA

Local News

March 1, 2013

Heard Around Town: The year of the saxophone in Salem

SALEM — It is not our place to try to solve world problems, but two items crossed our desk this week that make that prospect tempting.

This month, Salem State University is hosting the regional conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance — or NASA, as they like to call themselves.

They plan to hold saxophone seminars, workshops, conferences, gigs and communal horn blowings, if that’s the right term. The college even plans a “Saxophone Day” on Saturday, March 16.

As luck would have it, the Salem Licensing Board met Monday night to deliberate the fate of a saxophone player. He’s a nice guy, by all accounts, who charms young children when he plays on the Essex Street pedestrian mall. But, for some reason known only to God and Kenny G, he annoys the sheet music out of a large number of adults — an orchestra’s worth, if anyone’s counting.

A police detective filed an official report on the sax offender listing all the complaints, including one from a city official.

The three-member board, or trio if you will, headed by retired police Chief Robert St. Pierre, decided to take no action against the saxophone player, whom they kind of like. City Councilor William Legault even spoke on behalf of the misunderstood musician.

The board suggested that the man keep moving along and not spend too much time in any one spot, kind of like a roving troubadour in olden days.

We would humbly suggest another solution. How about steering him toward Salem State, where he might get a few tips from the 1 million saxophone players descending on the campus this month.

It could be music to everyone’s ears.

The Italian connection

Along with pasta, Caffe Graziani is serving a side order of papal conclave.

Restaurant owners Giovanni and Paula Graziani — the “Flying Grazianis” — leave this month with 16 customers on their annual trip to Italy.

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