Minkin Music: The Guy With the Saxophone
by mimivanderhaven.com on 02/07/2013 - 09:52 am
Category: Arts & Entertainment
By Jay Minkin
I can’t count how many times I’ve been to downtown Cleveland, be it for a concert, a play, a sporting event, a Rock Hall event, or just some big city dining.
Many nights there are more than just the sounds of bustling footsteps, honking cars, exuberant sports fans, or obnoxious bar patrons. Sometimes you might hear the sweet sounds of a saxophone playing a few bars of “The Pink Panther Theme” or the classic television theme song from “Sanford and Son.” Chances are the beautiful music you hear sweeping through the nighttime air is being played by Maurice Reedus Jr., otherwise seen as “the guy with the saxophone.”
Pushing 60 years young, Maurice can usually be spotted outside or near the hottest event in town. There have been times when I have seen him more than once at different locations in the same evening. The tall, lanky horn player is always dressed to the nines wearing a matching hat and either glasses or shades. His love of music came from emulating his father, Maurice Reedus Sr., who played tenor saxophone with Robert Lockwood Jr.’s band for 35 years before passing away in August of 2008.
I happened to see Maurice during the intermission of a show at Playhouse Square last month, hanging out in the pass-through of the Palace and State theatres awaiting the next crowd to disperse into the streets.
Figuring this was the best moment to go over and introduce myself; he was very appreciative and approachable. Unfortunately my conversation lasted only a few minutes since I had to get back inside the theatre for the second half of my show.
Afterward, he was stationed right outside the front doors, doing his thing and working for tips. I’d given him my card in the lobby, but have yet to hear back from him or find him on the social media pages.
So give a shout out to Maurice next time you see him on the streets of Cleveland. He is one of our treasured icons and truly an ambassador to our city’s nightlife.
To reach Jay, email firstname.lastname@example.org.