Eddie Daniels says the clarinet has been neglected in the evolution of jazz "because it's one of the hardest instruments -- it's harder than the saxophone." Daniels should know. He also plays saxophone in addition to the flute, and he'll be in town over the weekend in two capacities: Friday and Saturday evenings, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., he will lead a jazz quartet at the One Step Down. As saxophonist and clarinetist, jazz and classical, Daniels will participate in all-day clinics and recitals at the United States Navy Band's ninth international saxophone symposium. The Commodores, the Navy band's jazz ensemble, will feature Daniels in concert Saturday at 8 p.m. The symposium and the concert, both free, will take place at the Navy Yard's "Sail Loft," Fifth and M streets SE.
"It's easy to become a classical clarinetist and have one kind of sound," says Daniels, who frequently performs classical works with symphonies, "but . . . to be able to be flexible and get a jazz sound on the clarinet that's not Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw, it's much more demanding on the player."
Marvel of marvels, Daniels has even been successful in bringing classical audiences and jazz listeners together at the same concerts, which "feature me playing some classical pieces by Bach and then I subtly kind of ooze into playing jazz while the orchestra continues playing as they were."