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  • Rico Reeds | Teen Jazz Company Interview with Jean-François Rico

    Established in 1928 by Joseph Rico, Rico is the most popular reed and woodwind accessory company today having grown from receiving 30 kilos of cane its first year to about 300,000 kilos in 2005. Now owned by Jean-Francois Rico, the grandson of Joseph Rico, the company continues to see increasing success worldwide in its partnership with D’Addario. [Since the original time of this interview, Rico Reeds has become D’Addario Woodwinds.]

    Targeting all clarinet and saxophone players, from students to professionals in the classical and jazz genres, Rico offers a variety of products to satisfy a wide customer base. Those who use Rico reeds usually find that the reeds are very consistent and that at least 80% of the reeds in a box are great reeds.

    Rico also has several new products that will be available in the near future including a new classical clarinet reed, a new jazz saxophone reed, an improvement on all brands of reeds because of new equipment and better cane selection, and a book written on the history of reeds and cane for all major reed companies which became available in France in 2006.*

    THE INTERVIEW WITH JEAN-FRANCOIS RICO:

    WHO ARE YOUR TARGETED CONSUMERS?

    “Pretty much everyone. From students to professional musicians from every style ranging from classical to jazz.”

    WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER THAT WOULD BE APPEALING TO YOUNG MUSICIANS? WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK DO YOU GET? WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE? IS YOUR WEB SITE SETUP TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK?

    “For Classical Musicians, a student would start using Regular Rico (the orange box) then move to the Grand Concert then the Grand Concert Evolution, for clarinet players Mitchell Lurie. There is a new classical reed for clarinet in progress that is not yet available.

    “For Jazz Musicians, a student would start using Rico Regular (the orange box) then move to Rico Royal, then La Voz and then the Jazz Select reeds.

    “The Plasticover reeds are meant for marching band or beginners because they have a better durability than the normal reeds and are less likely to warp.

    “People like our products because our reeds are very consistent and our customers find that 80% of reeds in a box are good.”

    WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS OF ADVERTISEMENT?

    “Our most effective methods of advertisement are participating in international shows, visiting schools and conservatories, giving away samples and talking to people, and explaining reed making process.”

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BE THE ONE TO CARRY ON THE FAMILY COMPANY?

    “My Grandfather was one of the founders – Joseph Rico. I was raised in the environment. At 22 years old I moved to California and spent three years working at Rico learning how reeds are made, the need for good quality material cane, and then after 3 years I moved to France and took over purchasing and growing cane.”

    WHAT ARE QUALIFICATIONS TO BE EMPLOYED? IS THERE POTENTIAL EMPLOYMENT FOR YOUNG MUSICIANS? INTERNSHIPS?

    “Musicians who preferably play clarinet or sax qualify to be employees. There is potential employment for people who are ready to play reeds and deliver feedback for development of new products or improvements on old.”

    ADVICE FROM RICO:

    “A common mistake that reed players tend to make is to throw a reed on a mouthpiece and play it until it no longer has any life and then do the same to the next reed. You can get the fullest potential from a box of reeds by breaking them in. When you buy a new box of reeds, you need to take them out and play them each for five to ten minutes and then give them a break. If you break the reeds in slowly and rotate which reed you are using rather than always using just one, the reeds will play better and last longer.”

    MORE INFORMATION:

    If you want to get in touch with Rico, you can visit their web site and drop them an email about what you think of their reeds or various other music products. The web site is setup to receive feedback, but only in English. They are working on creating a multilingual web site, which is vital because they are an international company. Rico is based out of Sun Valley, California.

    *I am not certain as to whether or not this book was published (the interview was conducted prior to 2006). If anyone knows the link or if they could verify its publication, I would greatly appreciate it.

    October 5, 2012 • Interviews • Views: 1266

  • D’Addario | Teen Jazz Company Interview with John D’Addario

    Back in 2007 I had the opportunity to do an interview with John D’Addario of the music company accessory company D’Addario.

    THE INTERVIEW WITH JOHN D’ADDARIO:

    HOW LONG HAS YOUR COMPANY BEEN IN BUSINESS? WHAT HAS SOME OF THE GROWTH BEEN THAT YOU SEEN?

    “D’Addario is now in its second century, having been established in 1905. Originally importing their strings from Italy to New York, D’Addario eventually began making his own strings using his knowledge from the city where he grew up (which had a history of making strings for classical instruments).”

    WHO ARE YOUR TARGETED CONSUMERS?

    “D’Addario targets consumers from thirteen to twenty-one years of age, but lately we have been working on our products to target a much broader audience.”

    WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER THAT WOULD BE APPEALING TO YOUNG MUSICIANS? WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK DO YOU GET? WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE? IS YOUR WEB SITE SETUP TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK?

    “At D’Addario, we are constantly developing products as music styles change to try to develop products that work with popular styles. Recent innovations include replacing guts with synthetics for classical strings and creating new combinations of materials to improve our existing products. We do a lot of research on all our products.

    “We receive a significant amount of feedback from our customers. We have chat rooms on the D’Addario web site. On top of that, whenever we design a new product, we hire a musicians advisory board of four or five professional musicians to try our new products. The board members are constantly changing.”

    WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR KEY ARTISTS?

    Rock: Dave Matthews, Joe Satriani, and Kerry King of Slayer
    Bluegrass: Del McCovry, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs
    Classical: David Russell, Palo Pera
    Jazz: Pat Metheny, John Scofield Bowed: Jean Luc Ponty, Christian McBride
    Evans: Peter Erskine, John Dolmayan from System of a Down, Horacio El Negro Hernandez
    Rico: James Moody, Benny Golson
    Planet Waves: Slipknot, John Petrucci”

    WHAT NEW PRODUCTS CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

    “For 2006, we have a new line of unique tuners for guitars. We also have many more electronics.”

    WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS OF ADVERTISEMENT?

    “Print ads, internet and some tv.”

    WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO CONTINUE ON THE FAMILY TRADITION WITH D’ADDARIO?

    “I am the 3rd generation as well as my brother Jim who is the Chief executive of D’Addario, and my kids are the fourth generation. I grew up in the business; I went to my first NAMM show at the age of ten or eleven.”

    HOW LARGE IS YOUR COMPANY? ABOUT HOW MANY EMPLOYEES? WHERE ARE YOU BASED OUT OF?

    “D’Addario is distributed in about 130 countries. We have about 11,000 employees. We are currently based in New York.”

    MORE INFORMATION:

    If you want to find out more about D’Addario or get in touch with D’Addario, you can visit their web site.

    September 30, 2012 • Interviews • Views: 1118

  • Saxophonist Adam Gardner | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Mouthpiece : Kessler OL7Pro
    Reeds : Rico Jazz Selects 3 hard unfiled
    Horn : Yamaha Custom with black enamel (not the Custom Z, it’s the model before)

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began because all my friends were doing instrument at my school, and my dad had his old tenor in the attic so I started playing it.

    Saxophonist Adam Gardner

    Located in Yorba Linda, CA, USA

    • Tenor saxophone
    • 7 years of playing
    • Doubles on soprano and alto sax

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music now?

    I am currently in my high schools Jazz 1 (the top group) as lead tenor. I’m also a part of a combo at the school. Off campus, I am a member of the Armand Blais Orchestra, and I have subbed in with the Moonlight Express. With the Armand Blais Orchestra I recorded a CD with, and Tom Kubis attended the recording because many of the songs were original charts for the band.

    Who are some of your influences?

    Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Benny Golson, Bob Sheppard, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, Chris Potter, Hank Mobley, Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, Sonny Stitt, to name a few.

    Who have you studied with?

    I started off my private lessons with Melissa Palmer, wife to trumpet player Kai Palmer. I have since then studied with Kirsten Edkins, and plan to study with Rob Lockart when I go off to college.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    I plan on majoring in music in college at Cal State Northridge, and hopefully while I’m still young to make a career out of playing. Once I have a family however, I hope to become an educator so that I may provide a steady income for my family.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    September 24, 2012 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1119

  • Saxophonist Megan O’Donnell | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I play on a Yamaha tenor sax with Vandoren Java 2.5, a Selmer clarinet with Rico Reserve 3 reeds, and a Selmer bass clarinet with Rico Reserve 3 reeds for classical and Vandoren Java 2.5 tenor reeds for jazz.

    Doubles

    Clarinet (7 years), Bass Clarinet (6 years)

    Saxophonist Megan O’Donnell

    Located in Fairport, NY, USA

    • Tenor Saxophone
    • 1.5 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Why did you begin studying music?

    All my life, my house has been filled with the music of John Coltrane, Benny Goodman, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, and other major jazz artists. When I was about 9 years old, I went to the Rochester International Jazz Festival because my parents wanted to see a concert by some jazz dude. That night, Sonny Rollins was performing in Kodak Hall at the Eastman School of Music (the major hall for the festival) and I watched how much fun he seemed to be having and loved the way he sounded on that “brassy thing with the keys” and have been saying ever since that I wanted to play like him one day. I was determined from then on that I was going to become a famous musician. I started Clarinet in 5th grade, and bass clarinet in 6th grade. My music teachers wouldn’t let me have a saxophone no matter how much I begged, then freshman year, one of the tenor saxophonists in our jazz band had to drop, and my teacher let me borrow a tenor to try expecting me to fail at it, and now it’s my favorite instrument to play. And that’s basically how I got started with jazz.

    What are you doing with music now?

    At the moment, I am pursuing an advanced diploma in jazz tenor sax at the Eastman School of Music. I am in a latin jazz ensemble run by percussionist Freddy Colon and a combo run by the pianist for the Mambo Kings, Richard Delaney. Also, I am in my school’s top jazz band on tenor sax and the top classical band on bass clarinet. I am also taking courses in transcription and jazz theory at Eastman as well as being part of the clarinet choir.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My influences are primarily Joshua Redman, the Mambo Kings, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Eric Dolphy. Also my band director who is an outstanding jazz musician, Bill Tiberio.

    Who have you studied with?

    I have studied with Nancy Boone (bass clarinet), Amy Oldfield (bass clarinet and clarinet)and Mark Kreshevick (tenor and alto sax).
    I currently study with Dean Keller (jazz bass clarinet and jazz tenor sax), Doug Stone (jazz tenor sax), and Alan Woy (clarinet and bass clarinet).

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    In the future, I hope to double major in music performance on clarinet and jazz studies on tenor saxophone. Post-college, I would like a job with the New York Pops and to have a band that can play at some of the Jazz at Lincoln Center venues. Basically, I want to be a performer.

    Anything else you would like to add?

    I can’t imagine living without music. Music is my life, it’s the reason I want to get out of bed and go to school. Most kids leave a lesson without thinking of the assignment they were given. Me, I go home thinking “ok, so how can I expand on the concepts I just learned?”. I am that nerd that will do anything to get the chance to just play music. I don’t care what others think of me because of it. I am band geek and am not afraid to show it.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    September 24, 2012 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 936

  • Saxophonist John Graham Parker | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I have a Yahama Alto Sax and an International Woodwind Curved Soprano Sax.

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I always loved the saxophone’s sound. In fifth grade when I was offered to take either band or choir, my mom wanted me to take choir because my brother did it. I begged and pleaded her to let me learn saxophone and take band, so eventually, she gave in.

    Saxophonist John Graham Parker

    Located in Daphne, Alabama, USA

    • Alto and soprano saxophone
    • 5 years of playing
    • Doubles on flute

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music now?

    I am in my school’s marching, concert, secondary, and jazz band. I practice every day in class and at home.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My band director, Michelle Boyce, my section leader, Joseph Olmstead, and my best friend, Holly Woerner.

    Who have you studied with?

    I have taken band for five years now, and over these five years, I have had three directors. The first two were awful, and didn’t take the class seriously. Now, I have an amazing director, who has become an inspiration, and friend.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    I plan on following my director’s footsteps, and doing marching band in college and becoming a director myself.

    Would you like to add anything else?

    Music is my life!


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    September 7, 2012 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 975

  • Saxophonist Shannon Kennedy | Teen Jazz Artist & Founder

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Yamaha 875 black lacquer tenor and alto, Rheuben Allen curved soprano, Rheuben Allen baritone saxophone See the rest of my setup here.

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began studying music because I was inspired by a performance by the music faculty at my elementary school. Each of the teachers from the district came and put on a performance playing several of the instruments that were available to us and I took the band signup sheet home that day and begged my parents!

    Saxophonist Shannon Kennedy

    Located in Southern California, USA

    • Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones
    • Doubles: flute, clarinet, oboe, keyboards, voice
    • 10 years of playing
    • Get in touch

    Website | Youtube | Facebook | Twitter


     

    What are you doing with music now?

    I am currently performing, touring and recording every chance I get!

    Who are some of your influences?

    Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Kurt Elling, Mindi Abair, Candy Dulfer, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Michael Brecker, Camille, Maceo Parker

    Who have you studied with?

    James Barrera, Leo Potts, Gascia Ouzounian, Martin Dowling, Tim Price, and Suzel Reily

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Anything and everything! As long as I’m doing music, I’m happy. I really enjoy recording and spending time in the studio, but I also love being on the road so anything that allows me to either or both of those things would be ideal.

    Would you like to add anything else?

    I run TeenJazz.com and TeenJazzRadio.com, I have several albums released – you can check them out on iTunes, CDBaby. Any and all proceeds go to continuing Teen Jazz!



     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    September 5, 2012 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 985

  • Success as a YouTube Musician @hopeonatenspeed | Careers in Music

    I thought the best way to start our new series of Careers in Music would be to commence with one of the most contemporary careers in music possible. So, I approached a good friend who fills that job description perfectly and YouTube Musician/Personality, Paige (username @hopeonatenspeed) was kind enough to grant me an interview – and film a video with her!

    For those of you who don’t know, you CAN make a career in music by creating Youtube videos! A few examples of people who do this include Pomplamousse and of course our interview guest Paige.

    Youtube is a great tool for promotion. Whether you use it to make money on its own or just as a promotional tool for your career and music. Our guest, Paige, has managed to make the best of both worlds. She writes creative, funny, and entertaining songs which she posts on her Youtube channel AND has an album out which includes a small selection of some of her songs.

    Youtube is a really great way to connect with people and to let others get to know you and your music. It also has the potential to be yet another venue for creative output for you and your music.

    If you don’t already have a Youtube account, I suggest making one. It took me way too long to discover what to do with mine, so learn from my mistake. Start posting videos of your performances, of you talking about your music, or of you just singing or playing in front of the camera. Share whatever you feel expresses who you are and what you are about as an artist!

    The internet has provided a great way for everyone to connect and share and Youtube is just one of those fantastic mediums. Connect with your audience!

    For more about Paige:
    Her wrock album:
    http://tinyurl.com/magizooitunes
    http://tinyurl.com/themagizoologists
    i love youtube boys/girls t shirt:
    http://hopeonatenspeed.spreadshirt.com
    bandcamp:
    http://hopeonatenspeed.bandcamp.com
    twitter:
    http://twitter.com/hopeonatenspeed

    August 29, 2012 • Interviews, Music and Career Advice • Views: 1168