Alvin Hayes, Jr. plays all saxophones, flutes, clarinets and other members of the Woodwind family. He hails from Long Beach, California. As to his musical background, he remarked “My Mother and Father were involved in music, so I guess that I was destined to play something”. He played the drums, the bass drum, “boom… chick …chick…boom.” He started his formal music training at the age of nine. His first instrument was the violin. “I can remember the violin. At age 9, I had an aunt” he goes on to say, “And she had this instrument and my Mother wanted to get me involved in music, so it was my axe instrument. I discovered after a year that it was not going to be my calling”, he recalled.
The next year he got his wish and began saxophone lessons. “Man…that was the beginning. My Mom knew the cafeteria lady at my elementary school and they got to talking and one thing led to another. I didn’t know that her brother had once played with the big band leader Jack Teagarden.” Jack had retired to Long Beach and was playing in the Long Beach Municipal Band. He was also giving private lessons. Soon after, young Alvin began studying classical saxophone and flute with Clark Crandall. It was with Crandall that Alvin received his early technical foundation and appreciation of all types of music.
Alvin Hayes Jr has played and hung out with Henry Mancini, Patrice Rushen, Ngudu, Gerald Albright, the late Jeff Porcaro, Cannonball Adderley, and many others.