Justin Timberlake horn section comes home

From left: Kevin Williams, Sean Erick, and Leon Silva Jr. of Justin Timberlake’s band.
From left: Kevin Williams, Sean Erick, and Leon Silva Jr. of Justin Timberlake’s band.

When Justin Timberlake’s tour bus rolled into Boston on Friday, the sky was dark and the city, drenched. But to saxophonist and Massachusetts native Leon Silva Jr., 32, it looked glorious.

“We’d just played a show in Baltimore, and the crowd was great, but I could not stop thinking about coming home,” said Silva, a Berklee alum, who’ll hit the stage with Timberlake for a second show Sunday night at Fenway, alongside Jay Z.

Silva isn’t the only local on the Legends of the Summer Tour. Kevin Williams — Silva’s buddy since sixth grade and another Berklee guy — plays trombone, flute, and tuba for Timberlake. (Another pal on the tour, trumpeter Sean Erick , doesn’t hail from the Hub but also went to


Playing alongside a pop megastar has been quite a change for Silva, who taught music in the Brockton public school system for several years, something he loved doing. “I was pretty good at it,” he said, chuckling. “I was one of the younger [teachers], so I had an edge with the kids.”

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When he wasn’t teaching, he was playing weddings and pick-up gigs at Wally’s, Slade’s, and the Beehive (“That place was poppin’, ” he said of the latter). In 2008, he took a gamble, moving full time to Los Angeles in hopes of breaking into the music industry. Williams was out there, too, and they set about creating a horn section they called the Regiment Horns.

“We got off to a really good start,” Silva said. “We always played live and the word of mouth was amazing.”
After recording with artists on
Timberlake’s label, he asked them to go on the road with him. “We didn’t have to think too hard.”

Silva hasn’t been home in a while, in part because Timberlake has been keeping him busy. The band has performed on “Saturday Night Live” and did a weeklong residency on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” “They called it ‘Timberweek,’” Silva said. “That was a blast.”

So how is it being on the road with Timberlake, whose album “The 20/20 Experience Part 2” drops Sept. 30? Big diva, right? “People always ask me ‘what’s Justin like?,’ ” Silva said. “He’s hilarious, really down to earth. It’s amazing that he’s such a big star and he’s so down to earth.”