Jazz Saxophonist Kayla Upthegrove Brings the Music

Jazz saxophonist Kayla Upthegrove expresses herself through music, which has been a challenge during the pandemic. She shares the best and worst parts of her job as a musician and teacher, and how the pandemic has impacted her work, for our February 2021 Cincinnati At Work issue.

Age

24

Title/Occupation

Jazz Saxophonist/Teacher

How long have you been in this job and field of work?

I’ve been playing saxophone for 14 years, but working as a musician professionally for the past four.

Why did you get into this field of work?

I’ve always enjoyed communicating with others and expressing myself through music. I decided I wanted to do something I loved for the rest of my life.

Best part of your job?

Has to be the feeling you get when you’re playing in front of an audience and they’re enjoying the music. The energy is infectious.

Worst part?

The late night drives after gigs.

What value does this work provide to the community at large?

The joy of music is something the world can’t go on without. I also hope to inspire the younger generation by showing them there are people like you out there doing what you may want to do.

How has the pandemic impacted your work?

Right now, I’m not doing many live performances. I’ve mostly been focusing on practicing and writing.

What’s a fun fact about your job the public wouldn’t know?

I get the opportunity to be involved with many different arts and music communities across the Cincinnati area.

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