JULIAN Smith has gone from busking on the streets of Birmingham to entertaining high class passengers on cruise ships plying between Barbados and New York.
But now the international star is taking a break from his busy schedule to play, for one night only, at Redditch’s St Stephen’s Church on December 16 at its Christmas Chill Out concert.
And the cross-over virtuoso says he can’t wait to come to town.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I’ve played in a few churches before and the acoustics really suit my instrument and give it that cathedral sound.
“It’s also a great idea to open the church up to the community – it’s going to be really special.”
Classically trained, Julian was brought up in Bearwood and attended the world famous Birmingham Conservatoire where he fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
“I just picked it and inspired by the music of Kenny G managed to teach myself to play it,” he said.
“I then started to develop my own style, largely through listening to cross over classical artists like Katherine Jenkins, as I found their singing style much closer to what I wanted to do.
“The soprano sax is also very close to the human voice and the emotions you can get out of it are just like singing. I used to sing myself but didn’t think I was any good but the soprano sax has given me a voice.”
He also developed a love of movie themes and inspired, cut a CD featuring them.
Concertgoers at St Stephen’s can look forward to a eclectic evening with Julian backed by a percussionist, guitarist and two backing singers, plus as he lives in Halesowen this will be a ‘home’ concert his wife Iraz and two children will be in the audience too.
Tickets, priced from £12 to £25 are available from The Redditch Standard offices on Church Green, The Music Shop by car park 4 by the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and The Word Christian Bookshop in St Stephen’s Church.