San Diego Saxman To Join Stones Down Under

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Rolling Stones
Photo: Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns

The Rolling Stones will have a new saxophone player with them for their forthcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. The group have hired San Diego musician Karl Denson, 57, who tours with jam band Slightly Stoopid and has played with the likes of Lenny Kravitz, the Allman Brothers Band and Steve Winwood. His first date with them will be on October 25 at the Adelaide Oval.

Denson will be in the sax section of the Stones’ touring line-up along with longtime members Bobby Keys and Tim Ries, after taking a call from Kravitz, who had recommended him to the Stones. He will fly out on Friday (17) to begin rehearsals.

The sax player’s resumé also includes work with jazz giants such as John Scofield, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. “This is way beyond my wildest dreams, for sure,” Denson told the U-T San Diego. “I wouldn’t have even put it on my bucket list because I would have considered it ludicrous.

“Lenny told me he had received a call, and that ‘Somebody needs a sax player to go on the road.’ My initial response was: ‘I don’t think I’m the right guy. I just finished my summer tour [with Slightly Stoopid] and I’m doing weekend warrior stuff for the rest of the year, so I can be home with my family.’

“Then, Lenny said: ‘I think you’ll want to take this,’ and that it was the Stones and he’d recommended me. After that, I sent out some of my music to them. They got it, liked it took it committee [for a band vote]. A week later, I was on a Skype conference with Mick. That was this past Thursday; it all transpired pretty quickly.”

Australian rock favourite Jimmy Barnes will open the Adelaide show, while another big Aussie name, Hunters & Collectors, have been named as the opening act for the Auckland gig that ends the tour on November 22. Support acts for other concerts will be named soon.

Australia & New Zealand - The Rolling Stones are coming!

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