By Shirley Terrell-Stone
The saxophone is one of sexist whimsical soothing instruments to tame the heart. It speaks to your pain, your love life, your health, your mental blocks and the sensual side of every human being.
I had the pleasure of sitting with internationally known Jazz Saxophonist Mr. Antoine Knight. This interview gives us a personal look into the heart of The Man and His Saxophone.
The sound of music for centuries has always been a way to tame the beast that wants to come out. Over 3,000 years ago in the bible King Saul of Israel was tormented; and in mental anguish he summoned David, who was yet a shepherd boy and would succeed him as King, to play for him on his harp. The melodious sounds calmed the heart of the King and the dark evil spirits and thoughts that tormented him disappeared.
There was an African American tap dancer, Clayton Bates well-known as “Peg Leg Bates” who, at the age of 12, lost a leg in a cotton gin accident but mastered tap dancing to music on a wood leg accompanied by the sounds of a trumpet, showing how music was therapeutic. Music therapy is now being used in clinical training to create a targeted treatment plan for children and adults to address a variety of needs and diagnosis.
Antoine Knight is the founder of Color My Note Foundation which has been in existence since June 2016. The foundation was inspired while he was ministering in music at a church one Sunday in a small town near LaGrange, GA. The church was Grace Covenant Worship Center in Hogansville, GA.
A 15 year old young man by the name of Scott Hanby, played clarinet in the band and was intrigued with the saxophone and wanted to learn how to play. Mr. Knight’s co-founder, Ms. Paula La Mar, was approached by the young man’s father who informed Mr. Knight of his son condition diagnosed as Asperger. Once Ms. Paula LaMar researched Asperger syndrome, she suggested as a result from a vision God, to make this a foundation to award musical scholarships.
Scott Hanby was the first recipient given a saxophone and a scholarship from Stockbridge, GA. The Color My Note Foundation supports Autism, ADD/ADHD and Turrets language disorders designed for kids who want to color their lives and their identities that became dormant due to these disorders that they want to express but can’t, but through music they feel as though they can make contributions to society.
Originally from Pensacola, FL, Antoine was inspired to go to Atlanta, Ga because it was the mecca for aspiring muscians wanting to make a name for themselves and establish their own identity. Many talented musicians from across the country came in the mid 90’s migrating to Atlanta. It was a place where one could not just be a big fish in a little pond. This is where Mr. Knight was provided the growth and opportunity that just became available in Pensacola, FL.
Mr. Knight wants Pensacola to know that he does miss the beach, the simplicity of short commutes and of course, his mom and dad; just the whole atmosphere in Pensacola and can’t wait to get back here to perform. Antoine has been on the scene in Atlanta, since 2000. His first major gig was in 1999 with Angela Bofill and Jean Carne. He then went on to become a full time musician in 2002. He played with smooth a contemporary jazz group called AMRT where he released his first single solo project in 2004 called “In the Red”. What bought this title of this song to light in his mind, was as he was sitting in church, his pastor talked about a scripture saying that Jesus words were so profound that man had to print it in red. The idea stuck with him and was received and loved by both jazz and church fans alike. Antoine’s 3rd CD is called “A Night To Remember” and the first track is written about his home town, Pensacola FL called “Gulf coast 98” and his god-son Chris Snowden, is from Pensacola and one of the muscians who played on this track and is now on tour in Italy.
Antoine’s goal is to launch his foundation in 2017 and showcase the release of his CD by doing a benefit in his home town of Pensacola, Florida.
Words of wisdom coming from Mr. Knight to aspiring muscians is to establish relationships and opportunities and the money will follow. “If it is for money only and your No.1 goal, you will not succeed. “You have to give back; and the more you give you will receive. You cannot be self-absorbed and self-centered,” he said.