SILVER CREEK - Local jazz artist Charlie Borzillire, formerly of Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps, lost the use of his right hand as a result of a stroke, and didn't think he'd be playing his much-loved saxophone again.
But with an adapted saxophone that enables him to play all notes using only his left hand, he'll be joining jazz artists presenting a concert Saturday at the Willow Creek Winery in Silver Creek. Borzillire and the New Horizons Jazz Band of Western New York will open the concert at 6 p.m. followed by the Dave Golando Big Band at 8 p.m.
In 2011, the family of Borzillire, 63, secured money to make a first-of-its-kind, one-handed tenor saxophone thanks to support from vocational rehab counselor Paula Knowle and musician Chuck Vicario of Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps. The adapted saxophone was designed and built by Brian Russell of Russell Winds, Winneconne, Wis.
Borzillire will introduce this new instrument at Saturday's concert, and he, Knowle and Russell will be giving a question-and-answer session about the saxophone during the event.
Two years after his 2004 stroke, Borzillire began playing the sax again as a form of physical therapy and, by 2009, was able to join the jazz ensemble of the New Horizons Band of Western New York, directed at the State University at Fredonia by Professor Kate Levy of the Fredonia School of Music.
Borzillire plays regularly with the New Horizons Jazz Band, and the adapted saxophone will also allow him to return to playing with his former band, Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps.
Willow Creek Winery is located at 2627 Chapin Road, Silver Creek.