A TWYFORD-BASED group is making musical dreams come true with its latest lockdown venture.
Sax Bandits, a saxophone-only group of around 100 musicians strong, is busy producing its third and final virtual music video with the help of a celebrity saxophonist.
Musical legend Scott Gilman, who is well known for playing in actor Jeff Goldblum’s jazz band, is getting ready to join the Twyford players in a virtual rendition of Celebration by Kool & The Gang.
Last year, Sax Bandits’ leader Rob Digweed put together a virtual music video to keep the band’s creativity flowing during the first lockdown.
Now, two productions on, the group is returning with its biggest music video ever.
“I was initially a little hesitant to create another production,” says Rob, who calls himself the Sorceror of Sax. “There’s so much work involved, and I knew this video had to be pretty big to top the first two.”
However, with the band’s fifth anniversary coming up in April and the end of lockdown in sight,
he says it’s only right to mark the occasion.
“We’re currently putting together our version of Celebration,” Rob explains.
“We chose it because we’ve got a lot of reasons to celebrate.
“It’s also a great track with a solid rhythm and it has some great parts the saxophones can jump on.”
For its first lockdown video, Sax Bandits worked with legendary saxophonist Snake Davis, who has performed with the likes of Take That, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles but Rob says collaborating with Scott Gilman might be their most exciting work yet.
“In the saxophone world, it’s huge to be performing with Scott,” Rob says.
“Funnily enough, it all came about after I bumped into him at Glastonbury Festival back in 2019.
“We kept in touch and I told him about our new video, and he was really up for being involved.”
And it seems it really is a case of ‘go hard, go home’ for the band’s next film, because the group will also be accompanied by a number of professional musicians.
Unlike those which came before it, the latest lockdown production is also open to any and all saxophone players, including non-members.
“We want to pull in a wider part of the saxophone community because it’s clear how much some people need outlets like this,” Rob explains.
“Hopefully it can be a little March challenge for people.
“We want to get as many people involved as we can and make this a really celebratory event.”
During lockdown, Sax Bandits has also been busy working on a series of Youtube videos aimed at saxophonists, including yoga sessions and a fitness class.
“Saxophones can be a heavy weight around players’ necks,” Rob explains.
“The idea behind this little series is to help prevent injury and raise some awareness around the impact of playing sax, because
it’s all about posture.”
Looking to the future, Rob says he can’t wait for the band to be able to play in the same room again.
“Lockdown has been challenging in a number of ways, but I think we’ve done really well to overcome the challenges,” he says.
“I’m really proud of the band and think we’ve used the pandemic as a positive tool.
“However, we’re gagging to get back in the same room and play together, because you can’t beat the sound of saxophones all around you and the energy it creates.”
The deadline to submit an entry for Sax Bandits’ latest music video is Sunday, March 29.
For more information on how to get involved, visit: www.saxbandits.co.uk/lockdown-video-3