DERWIN FRIDAY - 5th and York


I am absolutely thrilled to be playing on mouthpieces from Theo Wanne. From the moment I was first introduce to the products I could not help but notice the quality and craftsmanship of the mouthpieces. The only way to describe the Kali is functional art! The passion and skill that goes into building these mouthpieces is evident not only in the solid feel of piece but also in the function; the sound is amazing! From the density of the materials used, to the bore of the baffles to integrated Liberty Ligature this is as close to the feeling of being one with the horn as I have ever felt while playing.


I like so may other musicians begin playing music in Church. As a child I was instantly drawn to the
sounds that different instruments made: the sound a snare made, the oscillation of an organ leslie, how
the guitar echoed through a twin verb...I loved it. I began playing drums at 9 and attempted to learn as
much as possible about anything that was made to make music. Around the age of 11 I was given a tape
of this guy named Grover Washington Jr. and from that day forward I was mesmerized by the sound that
he could make with a saxophone. I begged for a saxophone for my next birthday almost daily until finally
on my 12th birthday my father gave me my 1st saxophone. I was horrible but I played that thing until
the lacquer came off. Later I began to mimic the horn players I fell in love with and by high school I had
gotten hip to David Sanborn, the Yellow Jackets and other great contemporary artists and started
writing my owns songs and compositions reflecting their styles.
During college I really began playing out having my first opportunities to go out with top 40 bands and
spent time getting into writing and co-producing. I had the privilege to work on everything from
contemporary Christian projects and gospel to Rock projects and performed with several bands and
artists and that’s when I think the dream of being a musician became more of a reality for me.
After college I joined a touring Dave Mathews Tribute band and that’s where I learned how to entertain
and work a stage…playing well known songs in front of thousands of college kids so devoted to the
music you were playing that they would pay for someone to come imitate the band when they were
not in town…talk about devotion.
I always knew that I wanted to get back to that style of music that I originally fell in love with
…contemporary and fusion style sax playing was just where my heart was so soon after the cover band
folded I help start the band that would eventually become 5th and York.
We are now on our second album and we have had the privilege of releasing our first national single
which is a cover of David Sanborn, Bob James and Marcus Miller’s classic “Maputo” so in a way things
have come full circle for me musically and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.


Why did you choose to become a musician?
I like to think I did not choose music, it chose me. It has always been a friend and comforting presence that allows heart and soul to relate to this experience we call life even if my mind can’t fully comprehend what’s going on, the music can. I feel that music in general is nothing more than extension of our hearts and souls, it gives us a way to assimilate and understand the human experience as well as the many nuances that comes with it. Being able to express those experiences and emotions musically is a way to not only relate to other humans but hopefully it gives others something to relate their human experience to as well.

What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?
Feeling connected to the music is probably the most important aspect of a performance to me. Whether it’s rock, country, jazz, blues or hip-hop if the music speaks to me then I can speak back. The conversation can be endless and effortless and it can reveal things to me, about me that nothing else can. Music is as old as civilization itself and the insight that it can bring can be just as enlightening as any other study or discipline like history or Philosophy; because in the moment when everything lines up just right and I feel connected to the music with every fiber of my being, then if only for a moment, I understand Mozart’s genius and I can feel Etta’s pain all in the same moment. That’s what being connected to the music means to me.