We have a star in our midst. Someone who has shared a stage with Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. He’s saxophonist Steve Cadd, and he’s the latest expat to join the ranks in Siem Reap.
Originally from England, Cadd has been in town for just two weeks, but has already become a regular on the live scene, gigging with Pub Street favourites Cambojam, and The Warehouse’s resident Richard Beasley, as well as playing an impromptu set at Madame Beergarden.
He said Siem Reap’s live music scene is there for the taking. “It’s so untapped; there are so many venues here and so few put on live music. I’ve been chatting with other musicians and there are so many things we could put together.
“I’ve never in my life come across a group of people so willing to get something going. Musicians are normally so competitive and unfriendly, but here they all just want to help each other out.”
Cadd started playing cornet at the age of five, and has over the years honed his talents with the clarinet, flute, piccolo and sax. After playing in youth bands in his early years, he worked with bigger bands in his twenties. The stint saw him play seven summer seasons with the house band at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club.
“One year the season opening act was Donna Summer. We played with Barry White, the Four Tops, The Temptations, Sammy Davis Jr, and Frank Sinatra.
Even Michael Jackson was there one night, and got up and did a song with us. All this time, I still hadn’t made up my mind that I actually wanted to be a musician. I guess it all just fell into place.”
He recalls one tale in particular from his Monte Carlo days with relish.
“It was this massive stage that moved, with 60 musicians, on the opening night of the Monte Carlo season. I was on the back line with the brass section.
The show opens, Donna Summer walks out, and the stage begins to move. Next thing I know, I’m falling back on a ten foot drop. I put my arms out to try and save myself and ended up taking the rest of the row with me. It’s the biggest show of the year...and all you can see are a bunch of musicians at the back, trying to climb back up onto the stage.”