At an early age, music was in the family. My sisters played clarinet, flute and violin and dad played the woodwinds and instilled my inspiration to play the sax. In high school, I played in the stage band, studied saxophone with Al Galidoro and Frank Foster, played in local bands and had my heart set on going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In my senior year, I was the recipient of an International Art of Jazz Scholarship Award to Berklee. As a scholarship recipient, I had the opportunity to play with Jerome Richardson, Garnett Brown, Clark Terry, Steve Grossman, The Lew Tabakin Big Band, Bo Diddley and a variety of other great musicians. Berklee was an incredible experience. It was the first time living away from home and having the opportunity to meet and play with great musicians from around the world. It was interesting and fun to learn to say, "hello and good bye" in different languages, it was a real "ice breaker". Berklee was loaded with talent, Paul Moen, Gary Mazzoroppi, John Robinson, Jamie Haddad, Neil Stuebenhaus, Mark Soskin, Gary Dial, Gerard D'Angelo, Chuck Loeb, Mac Gollahon, Tiger Okoasi and on and on and on. It was amazing. I even had the opportunity to become friends and play with one of my heroes, Sonny Stitt, and hang with Miles Davis at Paul's Mall. After graduating from Berklee I went to St. Louis and played at Mr. Connors's Jazz house on Natural Bridge and Fair and at the Fountain Blue in East St. Louis, Ill. I had the opportunity to play with Ray and Tommy Kennedy, Jimmy Smith, Groove Homes, Jimmy McGriff, John Mixon, Kenny Gooch, David Hines, Joe Charles, Moses, and Johnny O'Neil. I moved back to New York and started to pay my dues. I played at all the jam sessions. At the start of a tune, 10 saxophone players would be playing at the same time until you were the last one standing. It could take 5 choruses of blowing until you were "soloing". The jams always had great rhythm sections. For example, the Tin Palace had Albert Daily, Clint Houston and Alvin Queen. Jo Jones Jr. at Barbara's. Boomers had Billy Hart. I used to sit in with Valarie Parmavy at a club on 7th Aveune called the Angry Squire. The house trio was Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Bill Higgins. What else can you say? I used to play and sit in at a club in Long Island called Sonny's Place. There I met and played with Sal Nistico, Roy Haines, Turk Mauro, Ben Riley, Earl (drummer)?, George Granum, Arvell Shaw and the chef Miss B. My first official jazz gig a leader was subbing for Ernie Wilkins and Miss B cooked a big meal special for the occasion. I met Philly Joe Jones at Ali's Alley in Soho and we became instant friends. I played with Philly for a few years. We would drive in the car together from gig to gig and he would talk about his experiences with Trane, Chet Baker and Miles just to name a few. My roommate from college (Larry Moses, Trp) got me the opportunity to play with the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis big band. Wow. Thad used to call me Con Ed after the New York power company. Great music, again what else can you say. I also played some shows and club dates and what ever it took to keep playing. One of the shows was Makin' Whoopee with Imogene Coca, she was hilarious; I'll always remember Ogdensburg, NY. It was a blast. In 1982 I moved to Florida and started to work the nightclub circuit. I played with some of my old and good friends Tom And JoAnn Floyd and Frank Romano from New York. I freelanced with a number of bands playing jazz, big bands, club dates, shows and a genre of assorted gigs. Over the last twenty years, I've had the opportunity to play with Randy Bernsen, Jaco, Bob Hoose, Jumpin' Jive and too many great musicians to list. I will continue to do my best to add interesting articles, music and photos to this website. ENJOY Richie Conn.