Adrien Re (b.1968) was born and raised in rural West Amwell, New Jersey. He grew up in a musical family listening to his father, journeyman jazz pianist Al Re, playing jazz. Adrien’s parents saw to it that he and his two older brothers received piano lessons from an early age. When his older brothers delved into the band programs at their local schools playing trumpet and trombone, Adrien longed to participate as well. When it came time to choose a band instrument, Adrien chose the saxophone. As the saying goes, the rest is history. “I knew from the very first day I brought my saxophone home that I wanted to devote my life to music. I like to say that I didn’t choose music. Music chose me. I really didn’t have much say in the matter.”
His career as a performing musician was solidified by his first paying job, a dance at the local middle school. “Back then, schools still hired bands. Usually, one of the groups from the high school would get these gigs. I think I made $40 or $50. I ‘m thinking ‘Hey I got paid to play? Where do I sign up?’” From these first working situations, his interest in jazz and his progressing technically ability landed him his first truly professional playing situation at the Lawrenceville, Ground Round restaurant. He was 15. “I remember that date, I think the oldest one in the band was 17. He drove me to the gig. We were all underage. The manager took me in the back room half way through the night and asked me ‘how old are you guys’. I guess he was surprised. We had gotten the gig through a demo we made. I dropped it off and followed up on it the next day. We had this placed packed…family, friends…it was the biggest night they ever had!” Since then, Adrien has played in many parts of the country and has toured Europe. While starting out on piano and then switching to saxophone, Adrien has picked up virtually all the woodwinds along the way. “I play flute, clarinet, sax and oboe. In this business you have to be versatile. I still do piano gigs.”
As a composer and arranger, Adrien has several jazz band charts published through FJH, Inc and UNC Jazz Press. His popular rendition of “If I Only Had Brain” from the Wizard of Oz was characterized by a jazz band director from England as “nasty, wicked!” “When I heard this guy tell me that my chart was ‘nasty, wicked’ I thought I might want to apologize or punch him in the nose. He quickly informed me that he was giving me a compliment of the highest order.”
As an educator, Adrien has taught virtually all ages and abilities. A typical 10-12 hour day for Adrien will find him teaching music theory and aural skills courses at Shenandoah University. He then does a quick drive across town to teach the Early Childhood music (ECM) program at First Presbyterian Weekday School for ages infants through 4. He then heads back over to the campus to teach more classes then crosses town again to teach woodwinds at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy. From there, he’ll head down to the Middletown campus of Lord Fairfax Community College to teach music history. Then, in another burst of energy, he’ll head back to the Academy to finish teaching a few woodwind students. Adrien shows no regrets, “My day is never the same, it’s always new. I’m real busy. That’s the way I like it. I teach music to infants all the way to retired folks. Some one once told me that I teach students from diapers to Depends.” He is most proud of his Jazz Concerts for Juniors program funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation Grants. This program takes jazz performances directly into Loudoun and Fauquier County public and private schools. For many kids (and some adults!) Adrien’s jazz performances/lectures are often their first exposure to this original American musical contribution to the world. “My most memorable concert is when a 6th grade boy came up to me after the concert and asked if we would play for his Mom’s wedding. I was impressed and humbled by this kid’s gratitude.”
You might find Adrien playing at private and corporate functions, clubs and restaurants around Northern Virginia and the great Baltimore/D.C. metro area on any given night. Check the calendar for details! For a detailed list of his awards and accomplishments go to bio.
Adrien plays Yamaha saxophones, clarinet, and oboe, Bari tenor and Meyer alto saxophone mouthpieces and Fribracell reeds.
Listen to what people have to say…
“And young Adrien Re, son of journeyman pianist Al Re, caught the attention of his older and more seasoned musician friends. He is obviously someone to be watched and heard in the future.”
-Curt Yeske, The Times, December 1987
“Thanks so much for the tunes, the evening went better than I hoped and your music played a huge role in that. We plan to come to a few more of the outdoor jazz fests in Luray, so I’m sure we’ll see you soon.”
-Mr. & Mrs. Frank Willcoxon
“Just wanted to drop a line to the Glorious band that made our “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party absolutlely perfect! You guys were amazing…”