Deptford Township High School music teacher Carl Cox has released his second studio album, Universal Language.
The album features 11 songs by Cox, a saxophonist and the school’s director of the jazz ensemble, stage band, piano and woodworks.
“I called the album Universal Language because I always tell my students when they travel to another country that if they bring their instruments and start playing a song, chances are people will be able to understand it,” Cox explained.
“Music is truly a universal language in that regard.”
Cox is a lifelong Deptford resident who started playing the saxophone in the fourth grade and continued through high school. He gives a lot of credit to the “good teachers” he had in the school district.
Cox earned a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance and a master’s in education at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He eventually became an educator at his alma mater, Deptford High, where he has worked for more than 20 years.
Besides being an educator, Cox has also been a background performer with groups such as The Roots, Smokey Robinson and Jay-Z, among others. But it was at the onset of COVID that he branched out.
“When COVID hit, people suggested that I do a solo album,” he recalled. “So, I did, and it ended up getting a lot of attention.”
That album, Thankful, was released in 2021 with eight different songs. Cox has gotten regular play on Sirius XM radio and has appeared on the Billboard charts, according to his website.
While his main focus is on education, Cox said performing on stage has helped him in his teaching.
“It really helps me with being an educator, since it helps me earn respect with the kids,” he noted. “They respect that not only can I teach it (jazz), but also actually do it as well. Plus, once they see the success that I have had with my career, it inspires them to accomplish their goals as well with anything, not just with music.”
A release party for the release of Universal Language will be held at Wilson’s Restaurant and Live Music in Hi-Nella on Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on Wilson’s website.