My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. We spoke with 19 year-old, jazz saxophonist Bryan Thompson, who grew up on Indianapolis’ west side, attended Broad Ripple Magnet High School for Performing Arts and is currently attending Indiana University.
Bryan Thompson: My Music. My Story.
When did you start playing?
I started playing at the age of 9.
What was your first gig?
My first was at a birthday for a private event. Very nervous but it went well!
What does music mean to you?
Music means everything to me. It is my way of expressing emotion and release. It is like an antidote to the troubles in life.
How do you view your work as a musician benefits the community?
My music provides an escape for people. I like for people to listen to my music and get taken on a journey away from stress. My songs tell a story and I want people to listen to my thoughts through a melody. I think my music can benefit society in this way. I want them to listen, imagine, and escape.
Who is your biggest musical hero and why?
Kenny G has to be my biggest musical hero as he is the only saxophonist I know that has a tremendous amount of success and his music is organic. I [hope to] follow in his footsteps as he achieved so much and I hope to do the same.
How has music influenced your life?
Music has been the center of my life since I was 3. Music has given me a creative outlet that has allowed me to entertain and bless people, travel, make some money, and most importantly allow my imaginations to be heard.
Any great music-related stories from your life?
The most memorable music moment in my life was actually playing for Kenny G (see video below) and hearing him say “Man… you were a lot further than where I was at your age.” It was inspiring and actually humbling in many ways.
Below are two videos of Bryan playing, including a video of when he met Kenny G! You can find Bryan on Facebook and Twitter, and hear him play in person on Saturday, August 27 at 6 PM at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.