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.

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