Sir James Galway; playing the Palladium in Carmel

Listen to Ray talk to Sir James Galway:

I have a confession. I am an alto sax player, and when I was in high school band, I made fun of flute players. Quite often, too. Karma being what it is – I heard a rumor that it rhymes with snitch – I got to talk to perhaps the best flute player of all time. I was not man enough to tell him I made fun of flute players back in the day, so if Sir James reads this, you may set my penance at your leisure.

If it seems as if Sir James (and it is Sir James, not Sir Galway – he corrected me, but was gracious about it!) has been playing forever, in a way, he has. Galway turns 74 next month and has played with a little of everyone, not to mention every style of music. He says classical is his favorite, though, and that is what he will play with the Irish Chamber Orchestra at the Palladium in Carmel Wednesday night, November 6.

Fun parts of this interview – Sir James talks about his appearances on Sesame Street – confession number two; that was the first place I ever saw Sir James perform. He also talks about playing duets with his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, for much of the past three decades. “We live together, we eat together, we sleep together. How about that? A married couple sleeping together. Never heard of that before. Must be from Chicago.” Lady Galway (and it is Lady Galway; ladies get to use their last names, and Sir James corrected me on that, too) will play with her husband at the Palladium.

The best answer was near the end of our conversation when I asked him to describe the Irish Chamber Orchestra. “It’s a very good chamber orchestra, and it’s from out of Ireland.” Is any further description necessary? When Sir James Galway is on stage, you don’t.

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