Sax-O-Clause jazzes up Christmas in Capital Region
He’s not your typical Santa who lives at the North Pole. But he brings Christmas cheer all the same only through the power of music. Sax-O-Clause has been a seasonal favorite of the Capital Region for the past 22 years. The man behind the beard, Luke McNamee, says it all started with an idea.
“I’d always played saxophone,” he says. “What would happen if I put a Santa Clause suit on and played the saxophone at the same time?”
Well, what happened with the creation of Sax-O-Clause! His jazzy renditions of your favorite Christmas songs are enjoyed by thousands every year. Whether it’s at Albany International Airport or a local nursing home.
“We do the Victorian Stroll, the airport, we play for seniors, we play for kids it’s the absolute best.” He says.
And it’s not a Christmas party without the saxophone stylings of his equally talented elf, Josh.
“We’ve been friends many, many years," Josh says.
A former elementary school music teacher, Josh says he first joined up with Sax-O-Clause when he saw him playing outside at a Victorian Stroll in single digit temperatures. Josh, who was dressed up at Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol, also had his sax with him and thought it was fate.
“Music is such a connection for not just kids but for everybody,” he says. “And during the holiday times you just can’t beat it.”
At peak season, Sax-O-Clause and his Elf may play several gigs a day. To keep looking fresh, he rotates through multiple Santa suits and beards.
“I have five of them, actually,” he says. “Multiple beards, multiple suits.”
Both Sax-O-Clause and his Elf say doing what they do is incredibly rewarding.
“I just want to bring the joy of Christmas. That’s really it. And that’s what this is all about.”
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