Johnny Sansone was born in Orange, New Jersey. His father was a schoolteacher, and played saxophone. "I was about eight years old when I started taking saxophone lessons and understanding music," he says. "I also know that an alto saxophone was almost as big as I was, and I had to carry it to school every day, and I thought, hmmm, I don't know about this." What persuaded the younger Sansone to follow his father's example is a version of a scene straight out of Audrey Hepburn's classic film Sabrina.