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Christopher Hollyday’s Vanishing Act

The esteemed alto saxophonist decades ago transitioned almost exclusively to teaching—but with a slate of new albums, he is gradually finding his way back into the limelight

Christopher Hollyday

Like thousands of young jazz musicians before and after him, alto saxophonist Christopher Hollyday enrolled at Berklee College of Music to expand his artistic knowledge, learn from seasoned professionals, hone his skills, and chart a path for his future.

Unlike almost any other Berklee student in memory, Hollyday did so after having recorded four albums for a major record label, performing at major clubs and jazz festivals across the nation, and being hailed as one of the most virtuosic young lions of the late 1980s and early ’90s.

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Originally Published

George Varga

George Varga began drumming in bands at 12 and writing professionally about music at 15. A Louisiana native who grew up mostly in Germany, he has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations as the music critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune. In 2002, he created and taught the UC San Diego Extension course, “Jazz in a Post-Ken-Burns World.” Varga’s latest project is Acid Reflux & The Wardrobe Malfunctions, a free-jazz Ashlee Simpson/Janet Jackson tribute band.