Saxophonist Ricardo Tejada considers music his “past, present, and future”

Latin Jazz saxophonist Ricardo Tejada gets ready to perform at Rolanda Gallop’s birthday in Melbourne. [Photo: For Al Dia Today]

By Jesika P. Millano
For Al Día Today

      PALM BAY – Even with the sacrifices that come with being a professional musician, it has become a way of life for Ricardo Tejada; a lifestyle he would not change for anything.

      “Music, after God and my family, is everything,” he says.

      His love for the saxophone, the instrument he has played since childhood, thanks to his father, also a musician by profession.

      “He was a music teacher and he encouraged me to be part of the José Dolores Moscote High School band when I was 11 years old,” Tejada explained.

      Later, he entered the National Conservatory of Music in Panama where he was directed by noted Professor José Cajar, and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Panama.

      “Music is my passion; it is my past, my present, and my future,” Tejada says.

      “I have never stopped playing music. And even if it’s just me, I’ve always been involved in music and I’ve been persistent,” he added.

      Tejada has been a member of multiple orchestras, not only in Panama but also in the U.S., where he has resided since 2000.

      For 11 years, he played with the Republican Band of Panama. Then, in 1998, he joined the Band of the Panama Fire Department, playing with them for two years.

      He was also a member of the first big band in Panama, under the direction of maestro Víctor Paz, and then maestro Danilo Pérez. He then moved to the U.S.

      “I emigrated looking for a change of life,” Tejada explained.

      “I wanted to know the American way of teaching music, and at that time, I arrived in New London, Connecticut.

      “I had to learn English and to get used to the rhythm of life here,” he said. “It was in my second year in this country when I took up music again.”

      Later, he moved to Cocoa and entered Brevard Community College to study music for two years while also joining the Concert & Jazz Band and Symphonic Orchestra.

      “I auditioned and got the trumpeter position,” he said.

      After taking a few years to settle into living in Florida, Tejada created the Bay Jazz Group in Palm Bay in 2006. The group plays music from several genres, including Latin jazz, bossa nova, blues, boleros, mambo and more.

      The group has amassed a considerable repertoire over the years and established a stellar musical reputation that has led Tejada to debut both in West Palm Beach, as well as in Orlando, Melbourne, and surrounding areas.

      He, along with the other group members, are known for creating a majestic musical fusion, embracing jazz with a refreshing take that manages to open the senses with an authentic explosion of sounds, making listeners immerse themselves in their musical journey.

      Being persistent, preparing, having discipline and perseverance, but above all true love for music, is what Tejada credits as the keys to his successful career.

      The Bay Jazz Group is currently booking new engagements throughout Central Florida. Contact the group by email at [email protected] or by calling (321) 746-5920.