Tenor saxophonist Chris Milyo of Arlington, Texas, was named the winner of the 2015 Saxophone Idol competition presented by Buffet Crampon and Julius Keilwerth.
Along with alto saxophonists Ethan Helm and Remy LeBoeuf, both of whom hail from Brooklyn, New York, Milyo performed live at Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago during the competition’s Dec. 16 finals event. The three finalists were evaluated by a panel of music industry judges that included Keilwerth Saxophone Artist Brad Leali (University of North Texas), Keilwerth Saxophone Artist Don Zentz (Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, Florida), Buffet Crampon President/CEO François Kloc and DownBeat Contributing Editor Ed Enright.
Milyo, Helm and LeBoeuf were selected from a pool of more than 50 Saxophone Idol entries from 12 different countries.
As the first-place winner, Milyo was awarded a Julius Keilwerth MKX saxophone. Additional prizes included a year’s supply of Rico reeds from D’Addario Woodwinds as well as a two-year subscription to DownBeat magazine.
Leali, who served as guest artist for the event, played a set with the house rhythm section led by Chicago drummer Xavier Breaker. After Milyo was announced as winner, Leali invited him onstage to perform two-saxophone versions of Charlie Parker’s “Chi-Chi” and Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz.”
Al Maniscalco, Group Keilwerth Product Manager, served as emcee for the finals.
Saxophone Idol is an international competition sponsored by band instrument manufacturers Buffet Crampon and Julius Keilwerth. The competition is open to all saxophonists age 18 and older. Details on the 2016 Saxophone Idol will be announced this spring.