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The loud family

Charles McPherson — the nation’s preeminent bebop alto saxophonist

Jazzman McPherson plays a ballet — with a little help from his friends and daughter — of his own composition.
Jazzman McPherson plays a ballet — with a little help from his friends and daughter — of his own composition.

Charles McPherson says Dizzy’s when asked about a favorite local venue. “Through the years, I have self-promoted my own gigs there.”

Approaching 78, McPherson is considered the nation’s preeminent bebop alto saxophonist. He lives in Talmadge Park with his wife Lynn and their daughter, the ballet dancer Camille. McPherson, raised in Detroit, and with a résumé that includes more than a dozen years in Charles Mingus’s band, is presently Composer in Residence with the San Diego Ballet Company. He has lived in San Diego since the early 1970s.

“Reeds? My favorite place to get reeds for my saxophone is Alan’s Music in La Mesa. When I rehearse,” he says, “I rehearse at home.”

He admits that the bulk of his live performances is out of town. “The most involvement I’ve had with this city’s arts scene is the ballet,” he says. “I’m writing a new piece for violin, cello, and saxophone.”

McPherson favors lunches with friends at the Kensington Café, or at Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant on Park Boulevard, all within close distance from his neighborhood. “Visually, it’s a nice-looking area,” he says of Talmadge. “It’s an old neighborhood. No two houses look alike. The greenery, the mix of hardwoods and palm trees. And the neighbors here are tolerant of us, Lynn teaching piano and me blowing saxophone all day. We’re the loud family. I’m, like, a practice nut. I practice a lot.”

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Jazzman McPherson plays a ballet — with a little help from his friends and daughter — of his own composition.
Jazzman McPherson plays a ballet — with a little help from his friends and daughter — of his own composition.

Charles McPherson says Dizzy’s when asked about a favorite local venue. “Through the years, I have self-promoted my own gigs there.”

Approaching 78, McPherson is considered the nation’s preeminent bebop alto saxophonist. He lives in Talmadge Park with his wife Lynn and their daughter, the ballet dancer Camille. McPherson, raised in Detroit, and with a résumé that includes more than a dozen years in Charles Mingus’s band, is presently Composer in Residence with the San Diego Ballet Company. He has lived in San Diego since the early 1970s.

“Reeds? My favorite place to get reeds for my saxophone is Alan’s Music in La Mesa. When I rehearse,” he says, “I rehearse at home.”

He admits that the bulk of his live performances is out of town. “The most involvement I’ve had with this city’s arts scene is the ballet,” he says. “I’m writing a new piece for violin, cello, and saxophone.”

McPherson favors lunches with friends at the Kensington Café, or at Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant on Park Boulevard, all within close distance from his neighborhood. “Visually, it’s a nice-looking area,” he says of Talmadge. “It’s an old neighborhood. No two houses look alike. The greenery, the mix of hardwoods and palm trees. And the neighbors here are tolerant of us, Lynn teaching piano and me blowing saxophone all day. We’re the loud family. I’m, like, a practice nut. I practice a lot.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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