An Alnwick saxophonist, who is known for busking in the town square, has bagged himself a six-week mentorship with some of the biggest names in music.
Jonny Diggens, or Jonny D as he’s known, is leaving the country this week to embark on an all-expenses-paid music programme in Los Angeles, to help create an album which he hopes will lead to a record deal with Universal Music.
The 18-year-old put a video of himself playing on video sharing site YouTube. Organisers from a prestigious music academy in the US saw it and contacted him to take part in the mentorship.
Jonny’s adventures into the world of music started when he was just 12, with the support of his mother.
Jonny said: “it was actually my mum who influenced me to do it because I wanted to play the trumpet first but she said that I wouldn’t suit it so I tried the sax and I loved it.
“About two months after I started playing it, she passed away so it was very difficult for me to keep on playing.
“I mean I’ve been playing coming up six years now but it was very difficult because there was a very long period of time, two years or so, when I didn’t practise at all because it was too difficult.”
The scheme involves Jonny spending six weeks with his idol Kenny G, who is a Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and is arguably one of the most successful instrumental musicians in history, having dominated the record charts for decades and sold more than 75 million albums to date.
Kenny G and Jonny D will be spending the next few weeks getting acquainted and he said he can’t wait to get going.
“Honestly, I had to get my dad to pinch me to make sure it was real. It was just crazy because it was on the same day my sister got engaged so it all happened at once.
Jonny received a phone call from the academy who asked if he would ‘like to come out to Los Angeles’ and have the chance to record with Kenny G and work with him on an album.
“They also said there was an opportunity of being on national television in America and performing so I’m going to be working with top professionals, some legendary producers, people who worked with Michael Bublé and Michael Jackson.”
The former Duchess’s High School student hopes his dreams of playing saxophone for a career are just about to start and thanks his tutor Dave Spraggon for teaching him how to play when he was at school.
He also hopes that the next six weeks will truly change his life for the better.
You can follow Jonny’s movements on his facebook page www.facebook.com/JonnyDSaxophone