The music legend and former
Gallodoro, who would have turned 101 on
At the tribute, Smith will play some of Gallodoro's most famous solos on the legend's original horns: a bass clarinet, clarinet and 1958 Selmer alto saxophone with "Al Gallodoro" engraved in the bell. The concert will be attended by many friends and family, including Gallodoro's music producer and grandson,
Smith has played with the Boston Pops and
Gallodoro's longtime keyboard accompanist, manager and friend,
"When Chad plays, I just close my eyes and it feels like Al's right there playing," Chmielowski said.
Gallodoro was also a fan of Smith's and would likely be proud of his accomplishments, Chmielowski said. When Smith sought out Gallodoro in 2005 to take saxophone lessons from him, Gallodoro was impressed with his natural talent.
"I distinctly remember Al listening to him and saying 'Whoa, this guy's great! I don't think there's much I could teach him,'" Chmielowski said.
In 2012, Smith told
"Al continues to be an inspiration and a mentor to me to this day," Smith said. "When studying with Al, he constantly raised the bar for me through his keen sense of detail and musicianship from his vast performance history."
Several years ago, Smith contacted Chmielowski, asking her for music parts and original copies of transcriptions of Gallodoro's music, Chmielowski said. At the same time, Smith contacted Gallodoro's grandson,
"It was like his spirit was in the room," Smith said, about seeing and playing the instruments. "Of course, I was tickled about it."
Chmielowski said she, too, wishes she could attend the tribute concert, but has a previous engagement she must attend. Gallodoro was passionate, yet strict, she said. During intense practice sessions, Gallodoro frequently told her to be patient with herself and slow the music down if she was unsure of a part, she recalled.
"Still today, I don't think a day goes by when I'm playing that I don't hear him saying, 'Slow the darn thing down,'" Chmielowski said. "He was a doll."
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