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commUNITY spotlight: Will Holton provides music for the soul

Buffalo saxophonist Will Holton will tell you how much he loves music. He is one of Buffalo's popular musicians.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - For Buffalo saxophonist Will Holton, it's no secret how much he loves music.

"I love writing and being able to be a doctor to people, change the vibe, make it peaceful and get people excited," said Holton.

Holton, 38, didn't start playing saxophone until his senior year in high school at Buffalo Traditional. During his high school years, Holton was heavily involved in JROTC and was aspiring to join the military. But his path switched to music and he studied jazz performance at Villa Maria College.

"I had some good influences around me on the other side of Main or technical realm, but mine was definitely on the streets. Hanging out with cats, getting shout outs on stage, lay out," he said.

The saxophonist says many doubted him because he started playing music later and with a class three underbite affecting his jaw structure, maybe he couldn't be a successful saxophonist.

Holton is a popular musician across Western New York. He hopes to become a national solo artist. His big opportunity came years ago when he met Najee. At the time, Holton was working at Kinko's and using his own money to print out flyers for an upcoming Najee concert in Buffalo. He was invited to bring his instrument on stage with Najee.

"It was crazy because he introduced me on stage that night like I was his friend for like 20 years."

Holton plays often at Soho in downtown Buffalo.

On December 1, he will join Tim Bowman, Brian Freeman and Carlton Wilox for a The First Day of Christmas Holiday Smooth Jazz Concert. He said it will not be all holiday music.

Holton's advice for young people, "the thing you thought you most likely wouldn't do, will be something you will be great at. Sometimes people try to deter you. Don't be deterred, don't give up."

If you have story ideas for commUNITY, email Claudine Ewing at Claudine.Ewing@wgrz.com or Pete Gallivan at Peter.Gallivan@wgrz.com.

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