Monday, July 13, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Random Thoughts on Mouthpieces, Reeds and Other Stuff
By Mike Zucek

Yes. I know. Judging from this blog’s title, it sounds like I couldn’t come up with a suitable topic this month; and that would be exactly the case! I’ve got a horrible case of “writer’s block”, and thought if I just started putting down thoughts that randomly came to mind, I could work through it. So here goes:

· Arnold Brilhart, designer of many famous woodwind mouthpieces, was actually part of the “Manhattan Project” to develop the first atomic bomb. His expertise with early forms of injection molded plastics led to his involvement.
· Rico cuts ALL its reeds with natural diamond cutters instead of the more common carbide cutters. Cane is a very abrasive material and wears out carbide cutters very quickly. The long life of diamond cutters makes for a product superior in consistency.
· At one time, Rico made a reed line for the Japanese market called “Nova”. These were Mitchell Lurie clarinet and Frederick L. Hemke sax reeds packaged as a private label brand for Yamaha.
· Getting back to Arnold Brilhart; as far as we can tell he made the first mass produced synthetic woodwind reeds. These date back to just after WWII and were injection molded plastic with a molded-in “grain” on the cut. They were either silver or gold in color and were sold under the “Enduro” brand.
· In addition to making “Roy J. Maier” reeds as a private label brand for The Selmer Co. in the seventies and eighties, Rico also marketed the same reeds as “RJM” brand reeds in many export markets.
· Rico produced a synthetic reed in the early 1980’s called “Rico-Plex”. These were actually produced from the same molds as Arnold Brilhart “Enduro” reeds but in a “natural” cane color.
· Lastly, when Rico first introduced the Brilhart-designed Rico Royal “Metalite” and “Graftonite” mouthpieces in the mid-eighties, we used to demonstrate the strength of their material by intentionally bouncing one off a hard surface to prove it wouldn’t break. (I remember repeatedly doing this at the Mid-West clinic Rico display!) At any rate, we once had a visit from the staff of a very well-known music trade magazine. Being eager to show off the new mouthpieces and their ability to withstand harsh treatment, one of our top executives let loose with the “unbreakability demonstration” by throwing a Graftonite mouthpiece against the wall in the production area. The mouthpiece hit the wall, bounced back and hit the executive square in the forehead and then hit the floor and bounced around. Sure enough, the mouthpiece didn’t break, but our executive needed some first-aid to stop the bleeding!

“See you” next month!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rico… global and/or local!?

Dealing with artists all over the world, I frequently have musicians from one part of the globe asking about the situation of Rico in other corners of our planet.
A simple fact is that more and more players (whatever their profile is) are exposed to Rico and therefore can test and choose what works best for them from our reed line.
Rico is not ONLY played in North America by jazz players! We have more and more top classical orchestra players from Europe or Asia… and of course USA and Canada using Rico reeds. RICO is a GLOBAL brand not only repertoire wise but also geographically wise. That’s why Rico remains the leading reed manufacturer worldwide.

Now, can we define specific trends when dealing with musicians from different countries and musical cultures? Of course! And that’s why it makes our job even more interesting!
Without speaking about specific “schools”, there are facts that we take into account when collaborating internationally with musicians or in our R&D approach.
Here are a few examples:

  • Germany with a specific clarinet system that requires adequate mouthpiece and therefore reeds. Rico designed the Reserve German reed for this purpose.
  • England with a tradition of “more opened” mouthpieces that require softer reeds. Rico worked with English players on the calibration.
  • Another tradition in some Eastern European countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey where the traditional clarinet requires very soft reeds.


Because the saxophone is one of the most recent designed instruments, we don’t have such “musical cultural” gaps when dealing with the international saxophone community.
However, the tradition of classical saxophone being rather recent for example, a lot of players from Eastern Europe came to this repertoire after playing clarinet or bassoon… or jazz and therefore with sometime specific requests when choosing reeds.

For saxophone jazz players, it’s surely the easiest situation when it’s definitively a “globalized” market, mostly dominated by the American jazz tradition.

It’s our job to understand these trends, traditions, musical cultures that make the music world so rich to offer the best to clarinet and saxophone players all over the world when picking a reed.
By understanding the “local” dimension, we enrich our “global” offer!

That’s why Rico is proud to propose such a large selection of reeds and accessories to make sure that each musician can find THE sound he/she is looking for.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Career In The Music Industry

A Career in the Music Industry
Mike Zucek-Regional Sales Manager
Like many of you, I once dreamed of playing my instrument for a living, but reality set-in after I left college and realized the tremendously competitive nature of such a proposition. Fortunately, in addition to my love of music, I also had a keen interest in what we made music with; in other words, the instruments and related equipment of our art.

So one day I walked into a small band instrument repair shop and talked the two proprietors into hiring me as an apprentice repair tech. At that moment, my life’s direction changed, although I hadn’t yet realized it. I abandoned the thought of becoming a professional horn player, as well as a band director (my “backup” career choice) and embarked on a successful life-long career in the music products industry.

The experience I gained learning to repair musical instruments at that little shop led to a position with a larger company. When an opportunity opened up in the sales dept, I took it. When I had an offer from a downstate music store that would double my meager salary, I took that. The experience I gained there led to an offer from a major west coast company, Rico, which just happened to be the world’s largest maker of woodwind reeds, among other things, so I took that. After 21 great years there (and an MBA with Rico’s help) my wife and I moved back home to the Mid-west and I worked as a District Manager for Yamaha for nine years. This, in turn, led to my current position at D’Addario, when they decided to purchase…. Rico!!

So what’s the point of all this? Simply that one can have a great career in Music without playing for a living. Did I play at all? You bet! For most of my career I played in a great variety of local orchestras, opera companies, church groups and bands. Along the way “rubbing shoulders” with some pretty well known artists and continuing to enjoy the thrill of making music. And if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Looking for the perfect reed…

With the new Reserve baritone, Rico is completing this month the launch of the whole Reserve line particularly dedicated to classical saxophonists (of course, it doesn’t mean that other players cannot use it. Just try it!).
After my experience of 10 years working for Henri Selmer Paris and now 3 years as Market Development manager for Rico / D’Addario, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with many key classical saxophonists.
But what means being a classical saxophonist? Do they have specific “needs” in terms of reed set-up?

All is about looking for the perfect reed… for the «magical» reed with the perfect sound «ready to play”!
· A warm and full sound with a lot of resonance,
· A good articulation on the whole range of dynamics and for all styles and techniques,
· Longevity as being sure that the selected reed will go thru the all concert is an imperative.

But let’s never forget that weather conditions and human factor could change so many things!
Therefore, despite the high quality of reeds, musicians have no choice but learning about how to select the real good reeds that will give them comfort in each different situations.

Some musicians may advice to constantly listen to your “voice”… The sound that is in your ears and one good reed will indeed help you to find your sound. It is a very challenging balance to find but feeling comfortable remains the most important. The reed is therefore a kind of “second nature” for classical saxophonists.
The Rico « Reserve » saxophone reed line really helps the musician to find a great sound quality.
Great cane selection, specific design for classical repertoires, strength consistency especially if you protect your reed with ReedVitalizer tools.
Then, be confident in your reed to build Your sound!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Festival de l'anche

10 years ago when organizers announced that a music festival celebrating the use of reed cane, known locally as "canne de Provence" would be held in the small Mediteranean town of Hyeres, everyone said it couldn't be done. However the Festival de l'anche (Cane Festival) did happen and has grown considerably from its humble beginnings to a lively and exciting event.

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Festival de l'anche and Rico is proud to once again be a sponsor of the events. The 3-day festival takes place May 29th through May 31st in Hyeres, France (about 140km west of Nice).

Concerts are held at several concert venues including the Casino de Hyeres, the Théâtre Denis, the Olbia Archeological Site, and Rico's own Roso France plantation. Featured guest artists include top name acts like The Benny Golson Quartet, Manu Dibango, and many other exciting concerts. The final concert on Sunday evening is held outdoors in Rico's cane fields and is a beautiful setting to hear one jazz music's greats - Benny Golson.

An exhibt of woodwind and reed companies is complemented by workshops and other displays of crafts and products that make use of cane. These include calligraphy, paper making, and even the manufacture of the calameau, a wind instrument made from cane!

A highlight of the festival is the weekend tours of Roso France, Rico's cane plantations. These tours are guided by Mr. Jean Francois Rico who helped build Rico's plantations starting in the mid 1970s. Tours take place Saturday and Sunday morning and a free shuttle leaves from the Casino to Roso France.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Applications For Rico Plasticover

Applications for Rico Plasticover

By Mike Zucek-North Central Regional Sales Manager

My blog this month gets away from packaging and instead presents the Rico Plasticover reed and its uses.

Plasticover has been around for decades, having been developed by a Hollywood musician named Herman Hansen, as early as the mid-to-late 1930’s. Herman was experiencing the usual problem for “doublers” in that the reed on his alto sax tended to dry out and wrinkle while he was playing his clarinet. As a result, it was not ready to play when he needed to switch back. He gave lots of thought to this problem and came up with the idea of spraying a very thin coat of a safe-to-use “plastic” on a natural cane reed. This tended to keep the reed “wet” while it was not being played; thus ready to play no matter how long his double instruments sat on their stands. This coating worked so well that the “plasticover “application was adopted by Rico, who quickly brought the Rico Plasticover to the market, and also provided a full time job for Herman at the Rico factory until his retirement in the late 80’s!

But Plasticover benefits more than just the woodwind “doubler”. The same properties that keep Plasticover ready to play also make it less susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature, making it a terrific outdoors reed and perfect for concerts in the park. And because the Plasticover coating provides greater projection, it’s a miracle worker for the marching band director who needs to help the woodwinds balance the brass! This same projection has also endeared Plasticover to many Jazz saxophonists; just ask Dave Koz!

Remember that the Plasticover reed is a real cane reed that plays with the response and sound that you’d expect from cane. You owe it to yourself to give Plasticover a try.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reedvitalizer Break-In

Break-in Procedures Using the Reed-Vitalizer System

In my last installment I talked about the importance of the humidification of reeds. In this blog I would like to discuss how to use the Reedvitalizer system to help speed up the process.

A typical break-in can take a very extended amount of time, but using the Reedvitalizer system can help speed up the process.

Here is a suggested setup for the efficient break-in of brand new reeds.

1. Take a brand new box of reeds and put the reeds in their reed holders in to a 73% Reedvitalizer bag for 12 hours.

2. Play your reeds for 30 seconds to 1 minute then wipe the extra moisture with your fingers, put them back into the Reedvitalizer bag.

3. Repeat twice.

4. At this point, it is a good idea to move the reeds in to the Rico Reed Case. The reed case is air-tight and humidity controlled with our 2 way patented humidity control system.

Your reeds should be very consistent and have better longevity!

Monday, April 27, 2009

C Melody Sax reeds

A frequent question we get at Rico from players relates to what type of reed to use on C Melody Sax. As many of you know, the C Melody sax is pitched in C instead of Bb for Tenor or Eb for Alto. While there is limited ensemble use for C Melody Sax (wind and military band), the fact that it doesn't transpose makes it a versitle horn for reading music written for C instruments.

The C Melody sax is larger than the alto sax and smaller than the tenor sax. With regards to mouthpieces, a true C Melody mouthpiece is similar to a tenor sax mouthpiece. With this type of C Melody Sax mouthpiece, bass clarinet like Rico Royal or Grand Concert Select reeds work well.

However many people simply use an alto sax mouthpiece on C Melody Sax. If you are using an alto sax mouthpiece then alto sax reeds should be used such as Rico Royal or Rico reeds. You can also try the Reserve Alto or Reserve Tenor reeds.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Special Reed Boxes I have Known...

Special Reed Boxes I Have Known…

By Mike Zucek-North Central Regional Sales Manager

Last month, I left you with a teaser…regarding the old brown Rico “wood grain” boxes. Well, would you believe that the original Rico boxes were actually constructed of real California redwood! They were beautifully made, with dovetailed corners and a paper “cigarette pack” seal. They had a full length fabric hinge and to top it all off, were wrapped in orange/yellow cellophane. (These are now real “finds” for the collector!) After WWII, redwood was getting expensive and a change was in order to help keep down the cost of the reeds. Why not eliminate the wood, but keep the wood appearance! The “wood-grain” box was the logical result. This package continued in use until the early 1980’s, when the now ubiquitous “orange box” came on the scene.

In 1983, the Rico Company decided to produce a new package that eliminated all the layers of tissue that were used to separate the reeds. The Dispensapak was the result and was an immediate…….FAILURE! We knew right away that something was wrong as many customers promptly spilled the reeds on the floor while trying to figure out how to operate this new “trick” package! We immediately performed a costly re-design based on the time proven “Novapak reed holder” and learned a valuable lesson about the “KISS” principal in the process. Our quick about face, while not totally avoiding some embarrassment, allowed us to finally arrive at the right package and, more importantly, avoid forcing our mistake on the customer.

In 1987, Rico produced a special “sampler pack” for its line of Mitchell Lurie and Frederick L. Hemke Premium reeds. These packages held 8 reeds in Novapaks with an assortment of strengths from 2 ½ through 4 ½. They were in attractive, three inch square, “shrink-wrapped” boxes that were clearly marked S A M P L E R on one end flap.

Likewise, a few years later, when Rico introduced the ground-breaking Grand Concert clarinet reeds in ¼ strengths, another sampler pack was made available. These were based on the same package that the GC reeds were normally available in, but with the addition of a gold band seal that covered three sides of the box. On this seal was printed “Compliments of Rico International” and “Reed Strengths 3, 3 ¼, 3 ½, 3 ¾, 4” and finally “Complimentary Sample”. The white box held “standard blank” models and the dark blue box held “thick blank”.

Finally, perhaps the most unique reed package ever produced by Rico….the “Inaugural Reed Sampler”… “In Commemoration of President Bill Clinton, Music Enthusiast January 20, 1993”. These reeds were actually presented to president Clinton at the White House, but also made available in limited numbers to attendees at the 1993 Winter NAMM show. Each sampler consisted of an assortment of 4 reeds (2 Rico Plasticover, 1 La Voz and 1 Rico Royal in a Reedgard IV) for soprano, alto, tenor or baritone sax. The box was white with a blue banded overwrap, and had a picture of the White House at the top front. The Rico logo was in red and each reed, rather than being stamped with a brand name, was instead marked “1993 Inaugural Reed”. The Plasticover reeds had white lettering and one each of the remaining reeds was in red and blue.

In some future postings, I’ll get into the packaging history of Rico family brands that for many years never bore the Rico name!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Filed vs. Unfiled?

A lot of people ask about the difference between filed and unfiled reeds. Here's a brief explanation:

An option to fine-tune the sound, the file is often preferred by players who use traditional, moderately resistant, dark-sounding mouthpieces– the file helps such mouthpieces blow more freely.

For those who play relatively easy-blowing, moderate-to-bright mouthpieces (especially jazz or pop sax mouthpieces with a high baffle), an unfiled reed is usually preferred.

The French File (or “file”) is the area behind the vamp (or cut portion) where the bark is sanded
off in a straight line.

The File-
  • Provides ease of response, especially in the low register… …making soft attacks easier.
  • Also makes the tone slightly brighter… …for use with resistant mouthpieces.

An unfiled reed provides a darker tone and more resistance; a filed reed provides a brighter tone and is more free-blowing.

Recommended use of filed or unfiled reeds for common sax mouthpieces:

• Meyer
• Otto Link
• Selmer rubber

• Dukoff
• Beechler
• Selmer metal
• Guardala
• Berg Larsen

Rico offers the following filed reeds: Rico Royal, Reserve (saxophone) Rico Select Jazz, Hemke, and Grand Concert Select

The following reeds are unfiled: La Voz, Rico, Rico Rico Select Jazz

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Changing Seasons and Reeds

As we approach summer it is important to remember how the seasons and humidity affect our reeds.

Depending on your specific location summer can mean many different things in relation to reeds and RH (Relative Humidity). But, the most important point to remember is that the less change that happens to the reed, the better!

In other words, when the reed is not in use it is best to have it stored in a humidity-controlled case. The new Rico Reed case is ideal for keeping the reeds in a constant state of humidification. What this means to players is that the reeds will not be as prone to warpage on the table and at the tip. 

When you wet the reed and get those wavy tips, it can be due to the reed drying out un-evenly. This not only makes it take longer to warm-up the reed, but it also decreases the longevity or life of the reed as it is going through more changes.

The Rico Reedvitalizer system utilizes a Two-Way humidity control system that can both add moisture to the reed or take moisture out of the reed if it is too wet.  

The system comes in three different RH levels:
58% - Stable, long-term storage
73% - Requires minimal wetting
84% - Ready to play

In my next installment, we will explore how different people use the different Humidity levels for the break-in process... Stay Tuned..... 

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Chance to See the World

As I boarded my flight from JFK to Frankfurt last night to attend my 10th Frankfurt Music Messe, I couldn't help but reflect on the international travel I've done over the past 10 years. Compared to many, 10-years of international, or Frankfurt Music Messe attendance is not so much, but for me it is a bit of a milestone.

Over the past 10 years, I've had the chance to visit the following countries (listed somewhat geographically as to not tax my memory too much):

New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, China, South Korean, Japan, Russia, India, U.A.E., U.K., Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay.

I've been slipped a "mickey" in Bangkok, Thailand; abandoned at the airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, and most recently I was in Siberia, Russia in November! I've also seen so many beautiful cities, met fantastic artists, outstanding businessmen, and great people! While the cultures of the world are fascinatingly different, the love and joy of music is universal.

As a young drummer (aspiring to be a percussionist) growing up in the corn field of Central Illinois (Sullivan, Illinois to be specific), I had aspirations of playing professionally and teaching at the university level. And, while that didn't work out as planned after graduating from Millikin University with a music business degree, and Northwestern with a masters in percussion, I couldn't have had a more wonderful and enriching professional life! After working for the Percussive Arts Society and Yamaha Corporation of America, my opportunity to do business internationally started in 1999 when I was at SABIAN. Since then with SABIAN, SKB, and now with D'Addario I continue to travel internationally.

As the wheels touched down last this morning, I couldn't help but reflect. There are more countries I'd love to travel too. What ones have I missed that you'd recommend?

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Rico By Any Other Name....

A Rico by Any Other Name…..

By Mike Zucek-North Central Regional Sales Manager

If you’ve been playing a clarinet or saxophone for any length of time, you’re likely already familiar with the current line-up of Rico reed products. There’s the famous Rico “Orange Box”, as well as Rico Royal, Rico Plasticover, La Voz, Mitchell Lurie, Frederick L. Hemke, Select Jazz, Grand Concert and our newest top line reed, (making many players re-think what they should be playing), Rico Reserve. But there are some names from Rico’s past that are not commonly recognized as Rico reeds. Let me explain….

The term “private label” is often applied to products manufactured by one company under another company’s name, or a name that is loaned or licensed to another company. Although Rico no longer produces “private label” reeds, it did so at one time (in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s) for a small group of band instrument manufacturers. (If you’re into collecting reed boxes, you’ll find this interesting!)

The most common Rico “PL” reeds were the “Diamond Cut” brand for the old C.G.Conn Company and the “Roy J. Maier” brand for the H & A Selmer Company. You’ll find Diamond Cuts in a black and silver box with a diamond graphic in the middle of the lid and the legend “made by La Voz” in the lid’s corner (La Voz , of course, being Rico!) “Roy J. Maier” reeds were branded in honor of one of Rico’s principal owners, and the mechanical genius behind Rico’s manufacturing machines. You’ll find these reeds in a textured silver box with the maroon colored “Roy J. Maier “signature in the center of the lid.

Another “PL” reed, called “Symmetricut” was produced for the Chicago Musical Instrument Co. (or CMI) during the 70’s. These were packaged in an all green box with white borders and the Symmetricut name in white on the lid. You may come across earlier Symmetricut reeds in yellow and dark maroon boxes as well. These, however, will be marked “Ciccone Symmetricut” and were made by Tony Ciccone before Rico purchased his company. Later Symmetricut reeds, from the late 80’s and early 90’s were actually marketed by Rico as a “house” brand and were in an all green box with the reeds in separate “Novapak” reed holders.

Although not actually private label reeds, you may still come across the rare “Andre” brand (primarily for Tenor Sax). These were made by Rico for limited distribution (and sometimes for export) for a short time in the seventies. They mostly came in an all yellow box with “Andre” in maroon on top. Another reed, primarily exported to Japan was the “Nova” brand, which was packaged in a gold foil box with ‘Nova” in block letters on top.

Other than being manufactured by Rico, what else do these brands have in common? You guessed it; they’re all actually Rico reeds; the same ones you can still get in the ubiquitous orange box!

If you’re interested in building a collection of colorful reed boxes, I suggest you ask around whenever you’re in a music store, as you never know what the dealer has hidden away in the back storeroom! (Or right out front in the “bargain bin”). They may be #4 alto clarinet reeds, but what’s that matter if you can add that colorful package to your collection!

In my blog posting for next month, I’ll delve into some of the historic packaging for Rico branded reeds. Do you know why the box that preceded the “orange box” had a simulated wood appearance? Tune in next month…

Monday, March 16, 2009

Exciting Times at Rico!

Exciting Times at Rico!

With all of the great changes and improvements at the factory I am excited for the future of Rico and reeds in general.

Being a reed player myself, I am always looking for advances in playability and sound production/longevity. One of the most important features is to get the most vibrations and tone out of the reed and this plays right in to the new Rico and new Rico machinery.

The machines I am speaking of are called “blanking machines”. These machines take the raw tubes and create an almost ready reed. For me, the most exciting portion of the machine is regarding the flatness of the reeds.

These new machines create the flattest tables on reeds that I have ever seen and, in addition the smoothest that I have ever felt. Even if your mouthpiece table is not completely flat (which does happen!), all of the new Rico reeds will help create better contact between the reed and the mouthpiece.

Most players understand the importance of the contact between the reed and the lay of the mouthpiece. Essentially, the more contact between the two parts equals more vibration and tone. One thing that I have found over the years in playing situations is that you can work to stifle some of the vibrations (if necessary), but if they aren’t there to begin with you can’t create them from thin air.

Regardless of which Rico reed you try, they all benefit from these new machines and a new level of consistency unheard of in the single reed world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reserve - a huge fan!

Of course, I work for D'Addario - Rico!

But when being on a stage (I was trained as classical clarinetist in Paris and still perform as solo, chamber music and orchestra player), just the quality of my set-up is important.

I play the Reserve reed for Bb clarinet because I like this dark and deep sound but also the large scope of musical colors I get.

I am currently preparing several concerts with the Mozart Concerto. And Reserve is the reed I will play. It sounds as I like, I feel comfortable and therefore can express myself "ad libitum".

FYI - my set-up is Signature Selmer clarinet / Lomax mouthpiece / Reserve #3.5+ Check out the video of Romain Guyot talking about his equipment:

Just try it and let me know. Thanks.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For the Love of the Music

D’Addario is fortunate to have a large number of associates in various jobs throughout our company that still play their instruments professionally or for personal enjoyment. Starting with CEO Jim D’Addario (guitar), President Rick Drumm (drums), Fretted/Planet Waves product manager Brian Vance (guitar), Evans product manager Mike Robinson (drums), Rico product manager Robert Polan (oboe), Custom Install manager Robert D’Addario (drums), Rob Cunningham (guitar), VP Sales & Marketing David Via (drums) are but a few of the musicians we have. They have very full time positions and responsibilities that encompass the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of D’Addario strings, Evans drumheads, Rico reeds and Planet Wave accessories yet they still play. First and foremost, they play for the love of the music. Also, because we are still active musically, we keep a deep connection to those performing and teaching the music as well as their equipment needs. We not only have the inner passion to play music, we have the desire to make better products for everyone that shares our passion.

This past year I had the opportunity to play with jazz saxophonist Frank Catalano on a number of occasions. I have attached a YouTube link to a gig we did at the Hollywood Highland Center this past June. I also had the opportunity to play the Peaks Jazz Festival with a tremendously talented group of high school musicians in the Crescent Super Band. Here is the links to a couple of the tunes we performed. It was great to see the level of commitment and the love these kids have for the music.

Whether you play professionally, semi-professionally or just for your own enjoyment, know that we understand your desire and passion. The musicians at D’Addario are committed to continually creating new and better products that help you realize your musical dreams.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Welcome to the Rico Blog

Welcome to the Rico blog - a space to post news and info about the woodwind world. Check back weekly for updates.

We've just returned from the TMEA (Texas Music Educator) Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Aside from eating way too much Texas BBQ and great Mexican food, I'm happy to say that the mood was very upbeat from music educators despite a tough economy.

Music remains such an important part of our lives and our hard working music educators are helping to keep music at the forefront of students' lives - something we should all be proud of!

The new Reserve reeds got rave reviews in Texas. Check out what Chris Allen, Band Director at The Woodlands HS had to say about them...

Chris Allen on Rico...

See more videos from our artists and exclusive lessons at The Stage.