Pat DeRosa, 100, of Montauk has a special title that no one else on Long Island can claim. According to Guinness World Records, he is the oldest professional saxophone player in the world who is still gigging. On Oct. 12, DeRosa will perform with the Bill Rignola Quartet at The Dunton Inn Jazz Jam in East Patchogue.
“Keeping my body in good shape over the years gives me strength and the wind to blow the horn,” says DeRosa. “It is very rewarding to perform and get feedback from a crowd. The more they applaud, the more exciting it becomes.”
DeRosa, who grew up in Huntington, performed with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band; bandleaders Lionel Hampton and Tommy Tucker; and jazz legend and fellow Long Islander John Coltrane, with whom he played for three years until Coltrane's death in 1967. Earning his bachelor’s and master's degrees in music education at the Manhattan School of Music, DeRosa taught music at Huntington Elementary and at South Huntington's Memorial Junior High School. He also served in the Army Air Force during World War II and worked for Grumman.
The event is free with no cover charge. For more information, call 631-758-8940.