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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 5:49 pm | Mostly Cloudy 51º


Jazz Fusion Fashion

{mosimage}At age 12, Justin Claveria knew the saxophone was for him, and he's been refining — and defining — his signature style ever since.


Name:  Justin Claveria

Age: 34

Occupation: Saxophonist, event coordinator

How long in Santa Barbara? 29 years

Justin Claveria knew the saxophone was for him at age 12, and he has never looked back.  He’s played international jazz festivals and competitions, won outstanding soloist awards, earned a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and attended the USC Jazz Studies program where he started as lead chairs in various ensembles. Claveria has played with many artists, including Kenny Loggins, Nate Birkey, Jana Anderson, Michael McDonald, the Coasters — the list goes on.  When he’s not captivating audiences with his seductive tenor and soprano performance — a fusion of soul, gospel, funk and pop, this Santa Barbaran can be seen around town on his bike; relaxing at Butterfly Beach; chilling on his porch with his dog, Oscar; or taking in the local flavor at a State Street bar or bistro.

Best thing about Santa Barbara: I think it’s beautiful how the city sits between the ocean and the mountains and has a strong Mediterranean feel in its architecture and landscape. I like that the city pays great attention to aesthetics, even in the most minor details.

Most recent iTunes download: I don’t download tunes from the Internet, but if I did, it would probably be Michael Brecker or Jamiroquai.

Pet peeve: Un-cleanliness. I like my environment to be clean and organized, I guess that also goes for those I hang out with.

Where I shop first in Santa Barbara: Bryan Lee

When it’s time to accessorize: Silver Rolex Explorer II

I wear my sunglasses at night: All Oliver Peoples glasses (Partial to metal/wire frames)

Accessory: Glasses, watch and rings all in matching silver/white gold, or platinum.  No gold!!

Denim indulgence: Sexy Ass Bastard by Buckler

How would you define your personal style: Euro trendy/throwback

How you keep it green: I recycle everything!

Musical influences:  John Coltrane, Bob Minter and mostly Michael Brecker.

Fabulous find/treasured possession: I would have to say my saxophone. Every sax is different from the next, even if they are the same make and model. Mine has been a treasured find.

Guilty pleasure? All sweets: Ice cream, cookies, pastries, candy, etc. ...

Workout regime: I go to the gym five days a week, usually around 11 in the morning. I take weekends off. I enjoy free weights and doing cardio, usually long bike rides.

Charity of choice: Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. They help restore the lives of alcoholics and addicts by way of serving the homeless through service. They offer this free of charge to the public.

Best meal in town: The seared ahi at Fresco at the Beach, and their filet mignon is off the chain.

If you could channel anyone, it would be _____ for their ______ : The late, great Michael Brecker for his harmonic sense, theory and his rhythmical timing.

Best musical moment: Any moment where the music becomes one with the universe and thus creates a spiritual, selfless thing.

Most embarrassing moment: Showing up at the wrong wedding at Bacara. I fell off a stage once.

Someone whom you consider a master of their craft: Michael Brecker, sax

A truly great night ends with a: wonderful last set of music followed by interaction with patrons, a good cigar and a drink.

Local band names you play with: George Freidenthal,  Mark Zier, Cougar Estrada, Nate Birkey, Randy Tico, John Payne, Jeff Elliot

Internet jones: eBay. There are items on eBay for the saxophonist that you can’t find anywhere else.

Last read: Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch.

If I didn’t live in Santa Barbara I’d live in:  New York City, London or Tokyo.  All are places that support jazz musicians.

All-time favorite movie: That’s tough to narrow down — Braveheart or Gladiator.

First gig: 1990 at Joseppi’s on State Street, (now Indochine).

Reality TV (all over it or I’m over it?): I’m over it. Way over it.

Favorite Santa Barbara beach: Since I am a volleyball player, I like East or West Beach, where the nets are.

Check out the lounge at Fresco at the Beach for the Justin Claveria duo (sax with piano accompaniment) 6:30 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday.

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