Gabe playing Empress Saxophone
Acclaimed jazz figure, Gabe Baltazar, gained international reputation as lead alto saxophone artist for the famed late Stan Kenton Orchestra during the band's golden era of the 1960's (recorded on at least 18 albums). His recorded version of "Stairway to the Stars" with Kenton is considered to be a definitive interpretation of the jazz classic. Gabe has also recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderly, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars, James Moody, and more.
After retiring from the Kenton Band, Gabe was a member of the elite circle of musicians in the Hollywood studios and recording industry. His studio work included such notables as Jerry Lewis, Danny Thomas, Glenn Campbell, Pat Boone, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, The Tonight Show, and many others.
Gabe now lives in his native Hawaii where he continues to perform regularly on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. His clarinet of choice is the Benten.
When asked why he chooses to perform on the Benten clarinet, he had this to say:
"I like the response and intonation. It felt very comfortable the first time I picked it up... very natural. It has a nice connection between intervals. It feels good!"