FAIRFIELD — Vacant storefronts in downtown Vallejo will soon get a new look as installation begins next week for the Downtown Art Windows.
The project is designed to improve the aesthetic appeal of Vallejo’s downtown district while promoting artists and their vision. The program will feature the works of local and Bay Area artists.
Installations will remain in the windows for a year or until the space they occupy is leased.
The event launches at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 with free guided tours of the displays, followed at 8 p.m. by music from the John Douglas Quintet. Proceeds benefit the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation.
Douglas began playing the saxophone in fourth grade.
“I wanted to join the band. I got in a little late,” he said.
His father was a band director in a different school district and brought home a saxophone for the young Douglas to try.
“I practiced for the better part of a year and joined the band in fifth grade,” he said. “It was something I enjoyed. Something I was good at. I had a knack for being able to play. It was clear to me this could be a long-term thing.”
Douglas sealed the deal in high school and decided he wanted to make a living in music. Then, for about five years, he stepped away from music.
“I looked down at my hands and knew there was something missing,” he said.
He began playing again about six years ago.
Douglas also plays clarinet and flute. He said he expects to get a good workout on the clarinet in Vallejo.
“It fits with the style of music (we’ll be playing),” he said.
Those who attend the show will hear a lot of tunes from the 1930s and 1940s.
“That’s what people react to. It’s kind of engaging to people,” he said. “It’s happy-sounding music.”
“I can’t promise to expunge anything newer than that,” he said quickly.
After all, one of his quintet members has written music that’s been incorporated into a video game.
Douglas is a big supporter of keeping music in elementary schools, since that’s where he got his start. He’s part of an after-school pilot program in Vallejo that brings music to elementary schools that don’t offer music in their curriculum.
“I hope to get these kids a good start on music, how to read music, how to play music,” he said. “This way they can go into middle school already prepared. They can hit the ground running.”
Douglas is a freelance musician and music instructor who also performs with a Latin jazz band and a samba rock band.
“My focus is on developing my musical abilities and senses, and enjoying more and more musical experiences with high-caliber musicians of all backgrounds,” he said. “While my background is diverse, I identify primarily as a jazz musician.”
You can learn more about him at his website, http://johnpatrickdouglas.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.