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Drunk Bashes Sax in the City

Tomo Tsurumi. Photo by Todd Cooper.

At bar close in the Barmuda Triangle on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Tomo Tsurumi — saxophonist for Volifonix and origami artist — was attacked by a twenty-something Caucasian male with fair, long curly hair. Tsurumi, who has been busking with his alto saxophone in downtown Eugene for the past seven years, says he had stepped into Jameson’s for one beer before bar close. Upon exiting, Tsurumi was approached by a “drunk and happy” man.

“He tried to mosh pit me,” Tsurumi says, whose saxophone case was strapped to his back. Tsurumi dodged the attack and says he then tried to explain to the man that he was carrying a valuable instrument. “Without saying anything, he lost his smile and pushed me against the Jameson’s cement wall.” 

The attack broke the saxophone case and caused $1,000 in damage to the saxophone. Tsurumi has raised $100 and is hoping to raise more to fix the instrument at Pacific Winds. He is hosting fundraisers on Jan. 15 at Cozmic and Jan. 26 at The Granary. Tsurumi will be performing with his tenor sax and will be giving away origami art. 

“Without my saxophone, I would have been hurt,” he says. Tsurumi only remembers the offender hopping on a truck bed after the attack because he left immediately, not wanting to be attacked again. He reported the incident to the police but he says there’s little they can do besides take down information. Tsurumi has returned to busking but says he’s more suspicious of people now.

“People shouldn’t use their power for harassment,” he says. His message for Eugene? “Drink responsibly.”

Tomo Tsurumi plays 5 pm Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Cozmic and 9 pm (opening for Garin Reese) Saturday, Jan. 26, at The Granary.