Monday, November 11, 2013

U.S. curler enjoys hot sax

There are lots of great stories coming out of the U.S. Olympic Trials as they play out this week in Fargo, N.D. Here's one about Martin Sather who plays second for Heath McCormick, the 2012 U.S. champions and one of the favourites to win the trials. 

What you may not know, is that Sather is a top saxaphone player who plays with a band in a high-end bar in Manhattan. This story in USA Today profiles the second

Martin Sather finishes a solo on I've Got the World on a String and steps back from center stage. Between songs, band leader Brian Newman introduces him. "He's not only a great saxophone player, but he's an Olympic curler," Newman pauses, then adds, "No joke." The rest of the show, full of jazzy standards, goes on at the Rose Bar.With that introduction, is Sather's cover blown? His dual life -- curler by day, jazz musician by night– now revealed? "I don't think anyone paid attention so it was fine," Sather said after Tuesday night's show ended. "I don't think they processed that information at all."

Of course the bar where Sather plays isn't likely to attract many curlers -- it definitely isn't the Patch. But there are a few similarities between what he does with his Alto and his broom.

The two worlds rarely collide. Teammate Dean Gemmel describes Sather as "generally pretty quiet" and knows little about Sather's music career.As dissimilar as his two passions seem, Sather finds a common thread. Both require repetition, constant practice and focus."When you're making a shot it's kind of like playing a solo," he says. "You can't be thinking about anything. You have to trust your instinct and the process that you practice, so in that way it's really parallel." 
The story is definitely worth a read.

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