Lucky 13: Rick Metz AKA “The Saxman”

Local musician Rick Metz doesn’t have the nickname of “The Saxman” for nothing. His skills on the sax can impress fans of all music genres, and his impressive résumé has kept him busy over the last few decades, as he’s worked with everyone from Little Richard to The Temptations. His jazz trio First Take has been charming locals for years, and their residency at Midtown Spirits Wine and Bites continues into 2024. For more information, visit  

What was the first concert you attended? 

Elton John, 1972, at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. 

What was the first album you owned? 

Child Is Father to the Man, Blood, Sweat and Tears. 

What bands are you listening to right now? 

Newer artists: Jacob Collier, Snarky Puppy and Dirty Loops. Classic artists: Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, Yes and ELP. 

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? 

Stevie Nicks; she ruined Fleetwood Mac for me. Dubstep; it just annoys me. Contemporary country—crappy pop with a twang. 

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? 

The Rat Pack—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. together. I saw them all individually and met them all. 

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? 

The Carpenters. 

What’s your favorite music venue? 

Locally, Midtown Spirits Wine and Bites, where my multiple-award-winning group, First Take featuring Rick Metz, performs vocal jazz from the Great American Songbook every Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. Nationally, the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater near Santa Fe, N.M. It’s now closed, but in its heyday, it was one of the most amazing places to see or play a show! 

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? 

“Most of what I do believe is against most of your laws,” “What About Me” by Quicksilver Messenger Service. 

What band or artist changed your life? How? 

Both Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones) and Sam Butera (Louis Prima) were dear friends, as well as my idols and mentors on sax. I played with both of them for years and learned so much from them! 

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? 

I’d ask Alan Parsons if he’d like to hire another Saxman for the Alan Parsons Project! 

What song would you like played at your funeral? 

There are a LOT of songs that I plan to have played at my funeral! I’ve made it known for many years that I want a classic New Orleans-style second line funeral procession, but I want them playing traditional Jewish songs in the Dixieland style! 

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? 

The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd. 

What song should everyone listen to right now? 

“You and I,” Jacob Collier, his amazing version of the Stevie Wonder classic.