The Sax Man Who Took the Hollywood Bowl Tunnel
Steps from the most celebrated music venue in Los Angeles, a humble jazz journeyman has made a darkened underpass his stage for the past thirty-one years.
Photos by John Francis Peters
The sounds of summer in Hollywood begin to stir just after 5:30 p.m, with cars honking staccato, stereo songs blending together and helicopters thrumming above. At the edge of a dark, forty-foot-long underground tunnel just outside of the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater, a sixty-six-year-old man in a dark brown fedora stands in the shadows.
Beyond the Hollywood Bowl’s gates, jazz legend Herbie Hancock prepares to take the stage. Meanwhile outside, Kenneth “Kenny” Warfield unpacks his red keytar and six-pound mini-amplifier. He arranges his music sheets on a stand and sets his hat on the ground to catch dollars and coins from passersby. He takes his saxophone out of its slightly worn leather carrying case and hangs the shiny brass instrument around his neck from a strap. He unfolds a folding chair, takes a seat, and begins to blow, his music piercing the night.
As concertgoers make their way through the tunnel to the Hollywood Bowl, Warfield plays his saxophone, …
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