Keith Jacobson

Keith Jacobson: Saxophone

Genre: Jazz

Sound description: Smooth jazz, funk, and R&B.

RIYL: Grover Washington, Jr., Eric Marienthal, David Sanborn, Dave Koz

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Current Status: Performing throughout San Diego County and teaching in Rancho Bernardo.

Influences: Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, David Sanborn, Ronnie Laws, Grover Washington, Jr., Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond, Pete Fountain, Dave Koz, Euge Groove, Warren Hill, George Benson, Larry Carlton, Norman Brown, Carlos Santana


Saxophonist Keith Jacobson is adept at playing alto, tenor, and soprano. He’s spent many hours taking lessons from Grammy award–winning saxman Eric Marienthal.

“Those were great sessions, true cardio workouts on the sax,” says Jacobson on his website. “I’ve studied over 500 hours with [Marienthal] since 2001, and he’s an excellent and patient teacher.”

Jacobson moved from Seattle to San Diego in 2000, becoming a regular at jazz-friendly venues like Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge. His 2006 debut album I Wanna Be with You. — featuring Marienthal as guest player and coproducer — hit number 39 on the charts. His follow-up album, Turn on the Charm, was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 2007 San Diego Music Awards and has had frequent play on local 98.1 KIFM.

For live performances, Jacobson mixes his own songs with classic jazz and covers of contemporary tracks such as Billy Joel’s “She’s Got a Way.”

“At some of these less glamorous solo gigs, I get onstage and nobody cares,” says Jacobson. “But by the end of the night people are into it and telling me later how much they enjoyed my performance. I really love those ‘only in Southern California’ moments when I’m playing late in the day, with the sun in my face, playing the smooth jazz I love. It’s really blissful.”


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