“It’s good to be back,” said Danny Janklow, a saxophonist who graduated from in 2007.
“This is my longest time in town since I left,” said the 22-year-old, who spent the last four years completing his degree at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia.
Janklow is one of the featured jazz musicians on Sunday evenings at in Agoura. “I want to bring jazz music to the community that gave me so much,” said Janklow, who played in ’s jazz band during his stint at .
“He took us to New York three times and we performed with the Lincoln Center program,” said Janklow, who remembers that time as an important and inspiring moment, and part of his learning process. “It was a cool way to start learning the language of music.”
His early childhood memories relating to music are stirring. There’s the classic prodding from his parents, asking if he wanted to take music lessons. There’s one of his mom with records playing in the background and of his grandfather playing the guitar.
The turning point was hearing Naima, the slow ballad from John Coltrane’s Giant Steps album. “That’s when I started to take music seriously,” said Janklow who started taking music lessons at the age of 12. “There was so much beauty in that recording which brought depth into my understanding of music.”
It was halfway through high school when Janklow made the important decision to pursue music “with every ounce of energy” he had.
He did just that, from pursuing a music education full-time to performing with some of the best bands and musicians in the East Coast, including the likes of Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Branford Marsalis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Now that Janklow is back in town, he wants people to enjoy jazz and connect musically through intimate venues with reasonable prices.
“I want people to get out and enjoy this open-ended art form,” said the winner of the 2010 North American Saxophone Competition. “I want them to be inspired and get out of their heads a little bit.”
Janklow is thrilled about returning to his roots and performing locally at on Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. “We share the same vision of a family environment with younger people in the audience,” he said.
“The music really complements our casual atmosphere and we are happy to spotlight talented local musicians,” said Cyrena Nouzille, general manager of .
On Thursdays, from 9 p.m. to midnight,
Brad Roen, vice president and general manager of Vitello’s, said,"Having been in the business for over 20 years, I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a new venue. After meeting (and hearing) Danny for the first time, just a few months ago, I knew this cat had something special going on. Danny is not just another young man with a saxophone, Danny is an entertainer, and starting in October, he will have a new place to call home...and I for one can't wait."
Before hitting the road again for performances and the release of an album in 2012, Janklow wants to keep the inspiration flowing.
“I want to get more high school students out there, especially those that are just starting to feel inspired by music,” he said. “It’s all about celebrating life and celebrating the moment.”