Saxophonist Terrance Charles Gives ‘Refreshing’ Performances Downtown
A few times a week at the corner of Broad and High Streets, Terrance Charles Farmer plays his saxophone for Downtown passersby.
Originally Farmer came out to make some extra money during the week, since his gigs for corporate events, weddings and local bands mostly take place during the weekend.
The reception from people Downtown has been overwhelmingly positive, he says.
“Every time I come down here they have something good to say, smiling, happy,” he says. “I get a chance to practice while I play, I get a chance to make some money, I get a chance to bring good energy to the city as well. So it’s kind of all-inclusive, I guess.”
Originally from Cleveland, Farmer transferred to Ohio State from Youngstown, “then I started getting picked up in the music scene and didn’t look back,” he says. He now has 15 years under his belt and has played alongside a number of local bands, including Doc Robinson, the Pocketbooks and Parker Louis.
He’s busked — an increasingly used term for performing music or entertainment in public spaces — at this spot Downtown for just under two months.
For Farmer, this time is spent shedding — “the mixture of practicing but also performing,” he explains — in the public. It’s a chance to work out some of his own material, too.
“I really think [it’s] vital for my musicianship or my development,” he says. “You’d be surprised at how well you can do if you just stay committed to it and keep doing it.”
Farmer says Columbus is an excellent city for busking, especially if you know where to go. The Downtown crowd is nice because there is regular foot traffic and a wide variety of interesting people to play for.
Often times panhandlers or people will mental illnesses will pass by, and the moment they hear Farmer play, they will start to sing and dance without even knowing the song. There is also a woman that comes by regularly, who once told him he was the best thing to happen to the block in a long time. “And I’m thrown away by that because I’m just playing saxophone,” he says.
Farmer says his music is a break for people Downtown. Like a glass of fresh water, it’s a pleasant change from the regular workday.
“The city of Columbus is very hungry for this type of engagement, artistic engagement with the people. And you see that in the responses with people when I perform,” he says. “I think busking in particular, it’s very, very valuable. [It] has a strong place in the city for sure.”
For more information on Terrance Charles, visit his website: ohsax.com.