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Musician Profiles:  Lisa Simpson

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I think that most of us in the western world know its most famous eight-year-old baritone saxophonist. When people ask me who my influences and heros are, her name is at the very top.

Why?

Because Lisa represents what every young musician should be. She does a great job of learning her school band music, and spends much time in her room entertaining herself by playing hot and heartfelt jazz licks. Lisa has made music a real hobby and works hard to pursue her interest. She is constantly exploring the instrument and the music, building her skills and her knowledge. And her skills, of course, are far beyond those of the average second grader.

Sometimes she gets a little carried away in band, but she also bravely stepped out on stage at the school talent show knowing she had a bad reed. Lisa is no stranger to the realities of being a musician. Perhaps this is why she appeared on the cover (in real life) of Windplayer magazine when it profiled Jim Horn, the guy who provides that beautiful bari sound for the show.

Despite her own notoriety, she has sought out the mentorship of jazz legend "Bleeding Gums" Murphy, and did so well under his tutilege that he left her his alto sax when he died. Never forgetting her roots as a player, Lisa used her wiles to get a copy of Bleeding Gums' record album and had the local public radio station do a memorial show for him.

A little girl who plays from the heart, faces the tough situations, and doesn't forget her elders in the music--all while playing an instrument that is itself as big as the average eight-year-old. Hats off to Lisa.

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