Jazz a family affair

The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree in the musical heritage of the Giroux family of Burnt Hills.

This Sunday, Dec. 9, three generations of family members, including grandpa George Giroux on piano, dad Pete Giroux on trumpet and flugelhorn, and grandson Nate Giroux on tenor sax and clarinet will perform a concert.

Aptly named Three Generations, the trio will play at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Church, 73 Midline Road, Ballston Lake.

The men play jazz, and if that's not enough in common, George Giroux is a retired band teacher, Pete teaches music and is band leader at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake high school, and Nate plans to study music education next year in college.

Originally from Plattsburgh, George lived and raised his family of four just outside Rochester. By day, he taught music, and by night, he performed at clubs and special events for about 50 years.

"I played with lots of the big name celebrities that no one remembers now, back in the 1940s, '50s and '60s," said George, now 73. "But I'll tell you, there's nothing better than playing with my son and grandson. There are a lot of father-son groups across the country, but this is really unique; you just don't see three generations playing together."

Each of the Giroux children was musically inclined, but George's youngest son Pete showed special talent.

"All my children were naturals, but Peter as a young player was great," said George, his voice rich with sentiment. "We went out together during his growing-up years playing at school and also at night clubs. It was quite an education for him."

George's "little grandson," as he affectionately refers to him, began playing piano in second grade, clarinet in fourth, and sax in fifth grade.

"I was never pushed into music, but I always loved it," said Nate, 17 and a senior at BH-BL High School. "Of course there were times when I didn't want to practice, but I never wanted to quit, and my parents and grandparents were overall just very encouraging."

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