Musician of the Month: Senior Coltrane Joseph


Senior Coltrane Joseph is a skilled saxophone player in the KO Jazz Band. He has been playing the saxophone for ten years and is even named after John Coltrane, the famous American saxophone player.

Every year, the jazz band takes a trip to Boston to compete in the Berklee Jazz Competition hosted by the Berklee School of Music against other jazz ensembles from around the country. “This experience is great because everyone steps up their level of performance and it’s awesome to see other talented groups,” Coltrane said.

Coltrane has been working with Creative Arts teacher Todd Millen for his entire music career at KO. “Coltrane has really grown as a musician and a person over the last seven years and become a lot more mature,” Mr. Millen said.

Coltrane said that Mr. Millen has impacted him as a player and as a person. “I really appreciate Mr. Millen and his help with my development for the past seven years,” he said. “I also appreciate his efforts to help his students develop their ear for music with listening exercises.”  

To be a successful jazz musician, Coltrane said that it is important to develop improvisational skill and to be able to take the notes from the page and add your own creativity to it.

Thinking back on his performances, Coltrane’s favorite songs are “Red Clay” and “Birdland” because his group is able to really groove with them, he said. “I especially enjoy Mr. Millen’s song selections for concerts as he makes sure that we have great songs that are also different stylistically,” he said.

Although saxophone will not be his main focus next year, he said he would love to continue playing, whether it be on his own or with  a whole combo.