Artist spotlight

Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn is a local saxophone player who’s best known for his funk performances with a rotating cast of Charleston musicians at the Pour House, Proof and many other local venues and events, including weddings.

Q: Why are you in Charleston?

A: I came to (College of Charleston) a decade ago, almost to the day. The plan was always to move to New York. Community, potential and beauty kept me here.

New York has realized its potential. I wouldn’t belong to New York, I would just be a player in the game. I have a stake in realizing the potential of this community. We all do. There is a shared ambition and vision among young doers here, whether or not it’s explicit. It’s exciting.

Q: Have you been working on a project that you’re excited about?

A: I’m creating a brand of Charleston musicianship. It’s called the Charleston 80. As much an idea as it is a product, it promotes Charleston musicianship beyond our borders. People need to know. The talent here is insane.

From an artistic perspective, I’m most excited when engaged in new, meaningful musical conversation, which, if you’re listening, happens very often in this town, thanks to the exceptional musicianship of those I’m lucky enough to play with.

Q: What encourages you to keep doing what you do?

A: What keeps me ambitious is the success of those around me. ... Alex Harris over at the Pour House, for instance. That place is not just a venue, it is a home for music, community and ideas. He built it with the hands and the trust of dozens and dozens of other people in the community around him; employees, musicians and patrons. We all contributed, but he had the vision. It’s inspiring.

Q: When you’re not working, you can probably be found ...?

A: Reading, writing (I was a creative writing major at CofC), surfing, drinking coffee, or working (oh, wait ...).