Meramec music professor releases debut album

Posted on 26 October 2016 by Ian Schrauth

Professor makes the world see his music

By: Daphne Drohobyczer
News Editor

 

 

 

Music Professor Christopher Braig has played the saxophone for 38 years — professionally since he was 18.

Braig first studied at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, but left for hire.

He was offered a job with the 113th United States Army, on active duty and is a veteran.

Braig was inspired to play the saxophone by Charlie Parker, a famous jazz saxaphone player.

“I heard him on the AM radio when I was a child,” Braig said.

Braig played the saxaphone several hours a day in Cincinnati.CD atrist

“After the army, I worked for Carnival Cruise Lines as a saxophone player, and I lived in San Juan, Peurto Rico for a while,” Braig said.

“In my twenties, I traveled extensively, and in my thirties as well. I was a side man; I worked on cruise ships and played at hotels.” Braig also played with the Disney All American College Band, Disney World in Orlando, 1992.

Braig first came to Missouri to play in Branson, Missouri, with Shoji Tabuchi.

“I came here [to STLCC] last minute as a jazz player to teach jazz class, one jazz class audio program.” Braig said he was able to come up with a list of things the Meramec Music Department needs.

“With the audio budget I purchased things that would make it more affordable for the students,” Braig said.

“I am passionate about affordable education.” Braig has worked as an adjunct professor for 10 years.

“I teach out of my head,” Braig said.

“I apply myself 1 percent more at community college than I do there.” When Braig was 39 years old he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Education, and at 45 he completed a master’s degree in Jazz and saxophone performance at Webster University.

Furthermore, he makes it known that he considers himself a life-long learner.

Aside from teaching, Braig also dotes on his children.

“I have two little girls, age 6 and 9, and I am a single father…I am well-known as the jazz dad.” Braig hopes that his legacy in the music program influences not only his students, but also his family.

“I hope that any one of the students can teach my daughter,” Braig said.

However, Braig does not believe that music runs in the family.

“I think a leader’s job is to train their replacement,” Braig said.

“I just released a book called ‘Jazz Brain Training.’ It’s based on how your mind and brain actually work, in a state called ‘flow.’ Braig just premiered his first CD of original music, which features Webster University faculty members.

“The CD release party was presented to us by the St. Louis Artists’ Guild,” Braig said.

Braig also teaches a class once a week at Normandy High School, with a Go Fund Me campaign.

“They have nothing, no budget,” Braig said.

Braig is an active performer and has already played twice at Whittaker Jazz Festivals at the Botannical Garden Summer series, performed at Sheldon multiple times, and also played the Chesterfield Jazz Festival, and Melbay Jazz Festival in DeSoto, Missouri.

“I’ve played more saxophone than literally how much TV people watch,” Braig said.

“I’ve played for millions of people, literally millions.”

 

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