This article by Krista Sylvester was funded by Patreon. Contribute now to help build a wider range of voices and stories covering our city. – LiveWire Calgary: Run by Journalists, for the community.
He’s making sax great again – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Surrounded by talented musicians, including pop megastars Tegan and Sara, singer-songwriter Feist, Nickelback’s frontman Chad Kroeger and country crooner Paul Brandt, saxophonist Oliver Miguel fits right in as one of the chosen artists in the National Music Centre’s (NMC) Trailblazers: Alberta exhibition.
Best known as a talented saxophonist, the multi-instrumentalist is more intimately known for playing every instrument himself when he makes music, but even he was shocked when he was chosen to be a part of the first nine artists featured in the exhibit.
“It’s very inspiring to be next to artists I admire so much,” Miguel said, adding he feels very humbled to be included.
“I had no idea, nor do I feel I deserve such a mention, but I’ll take it and now I will aim to live up to this honour. I’m the least known artist up there, and it feels inspiring to be surrounded by superstars. I have a long way to go.”
When it comes to the word “trailblazer,” Miguel believes it means to create your own destiny, something he has been working hard at since he broke into the music scene in the early 2000s. The Chilean-born, 2003 graduate of Calgary’s Mount Royal University Conservatory has since travelled all over the world to perform, including in Europe, Asia, the U.S and the Caribbean.
“I do feel I carve my own path, and don’t let any obstacle get in the way of my dreams and goals,” he said.
For the NMC, Miguel was an easy choice for the exhibition, according to Jesse Moffatt, Director of Collections and Exhibitions.
“He’s a contemporary artist, he’s a multi instrumentalist and if you ever seen him perform, it’s quite amazing actually. What better person could we profile alongside some other pretty amazing artists?” Moffatt says.
“We just felt Oliver checked all of the boxes and he’s here in … our hometown and is really making a living out of being an artist. So, we kind of see that whole side of the exhibition of just promoting young, emerging and established artists.”
In partnership with ATB Financial, the new exhibition, which opened Oct. 26, is designed to showcase artists who have achieved success on a local, national and international level, while also influencing a whole new generation of artists.
It features wall graphics, video interviews, and concert footage from nine of Alberta’s hitmakers, musical masters, production pros and industry leaders.