Though they lost saxophonist Clarence Clemons last year, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are keeping his replacement in the family.
Guess he was born to play.
Jake, who also plays guitar and piano and played at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration in 1992, will split saxophone duties with Eddie "Kingfish" Manion on tour in support of the new E Street album, Wrecking Ball.
Manion is a tenor and baritone saxman who's been an E Street starlwart for years, performing live with the band dating back to 1976's Born to Run trek. He als backed up the rockers during their halftime performance at Super Bowl XLIII.
In addition to Clemons and Manion, Springsteen confirmed that the expanded tour lineup will feature singers Cindy Mizelle and Curtis King, trombonist Clark Gayton and trumpeter Curt Ramm, all of whom have collaborated with him in the past. Also along for the ride with be first-time tour member Barry Danielian on trumpet.
But it's the inclusion of the younger Clemons that should hearten Springsteen fans who are still mourning the Big Man's passing.
Jake, who has also performed with such acts as the Swell Season, hasn't forgotten his uncle and musical inspiration. To that end, he recently headlined a pair of tribute shows in Virginia dedicated to Clarence, as well as a concert at Asbury Park's legendary Stone Pony last October.
But he's humble enough to know there can never be another Clarence.
"People have been saying to me, 'It's up to you now', 'You carry the torch', 'You are the legacy.' But this job is not one to be fulfilled by any single person; Clarence was more than a saxophone player, he was an ambassador with a mission to spread Love and Joy to the world. It's up to all of us now. We must all cary the torch. We must all be His Legacy," Jake wrote on his blog.
Amen to that.
Springsteen and the E Street Band are set to perform at this Sunday's Grammy Awards airing live on CBS. The Wreckling Ball album hits stores on March 6 and the group is scheduled to kick off the U.S. leg of thel world tour March 18 in Atlanta.