Customer Feedback from Bill

May 10th, 2013 by Christan Griego

I love receiving emails from satisfied customers.

Bill:

I wanted to let you know that the Alessi T-396A I bought from you at ETW this past March is the best horn I have ever played on and I am starting to reap the benefits.

Sometimes with a purchase this large there is a fear of buyer’s remorse. Not so here, every penny is worth it!

Thanks for making such a great instrument!!

William (Bill) McDowell

Me:

Thank you for the kind email.  Can I use this on our blog?  I’d love to share….   If not I’m happy with just keeping it inside…

Bill:

No problem, in addition some of those benefits were:

  • My attacks are more punctuated.
  • My legatos are a lot smoother.
  • And for reasons I can’t explain, the horn seems to know what I want it to do.

What Apple, Samsung and RIM have done for the cell phone, Edwards has done the same for the trombone, they made it better.

I just call it the smartbone.

Thanks again,

Bill

Thanks, Bill!

Posted in General | No Comments »

My Nightmare Trip to Edwards

May 9th, 2013 by Christan Griego

Elkhorn TripIt’s taken me eighteen years to finally be able to put this story to ink (even if it’s only digital). The year was 1995 and I’d had a tragic accident with my Holton TR158. The outer slide fell off when I was coming out of a practice room while on crutches. The slide was damaged terribly and needed new outer tubes. My Professor, Don Lucas, told me, “well, maybe it’s time for that Edwards you’ve been wanting to buy for so long.”

I paid my way through college by teaching private students and brass masterclasses in the high schools of Lubbock, Texas. I was not flush with cash, so I had to get creative in order to scrape together enough dollars to be able to afford the upcoming purchase. Not only was I going to get an Edwards, I was going to fly into Midway airport in Chicago and travel to the factory to be fit by Jonathan Winkle. Don worked it out so that our visit would coincide with Joseph Alessi’s visit to the factory during the summer. Chris Branagan was also going to buy a horn.

Flying into Midway saved us a lot of money, but it meant we were 2 1/2 hours from Edwards. Once in Elkhorn we stayed at the Americinn hotel. It’s a nice place, but there are no restaurants around the joint so we just settled in for the evening. The next day we all piled into Jonathan Winkle’s car and went to the factory. The fitting was everything we had hoped for. The sounds we were able to make were heavenly. Those horns were destined to take us into the next phase of our careers as elite orchestra musicians.

Joseph Alessi did come in during our fittings and was very complimentary, even with me playing every third and fourth position note out of tune. I did this only because the T350 was very different from the Bach 42 closed wrap I was borrowing from Chris since my Holton’s demise…

That evening we went back to the Americinn but had a problem. There was no food nearby and we had no car. Jonathan lived in Milwaukee so we were out of luck there. We had our new Edwards trombones with us, so I went downstairs to talk to the local native behind the desk. We talked about what we were doing in Elkhorn and she was amazed that we were travelling in for instruments. I asked if there was a way to go to Lake Geneva, and she offered to loan us her pickup.

I went upstairs and told Chris and Don. We decided that we had to play for her. The only duet we had was Don’s arrangement of Three Emily Dickinson Songs by Michael Hennigan. Don Lucas was wanting to premiere it later that year, but Chris and I stole that opportunity and did the world premiere at the Americinn in Elkhorn, WI. We then left our trombones as collateral and were off to Lake Geneva for dinner.

The next day, while driving to the airport, Don opened his mouth and what he said would make this trip the stuff of legend: “Guys, we gotta stop for Giordano’s deep dish pizza. It’ll change your life.” Against our better judgment, we stopped and ordered three personal deep dish pizzas. Deep dish takes longer to bake, so we thought getting the personal, smaller size would speed up the process. We kept glancing at the clock nervously, but the manager told us not to worry. After 45 minutes (45 minutes!), the order was ready. We sprinted to the car, pizzas in hand, and floored it for Midway.

If the pizza delay wasn’t enough, we hit the dreaded Chicago freeway summer construction. We couldn’t have been going more than 25 mph. To say we were nervous was an understatement. We got to the airport with 8 minutes (8 minutes!) to spare. Since this was pre-9/11, we were able to go directly to the gate. I took off in a sprint, leaving Chris and Don to be the luggage and trombone mules. I got to the gate in time to see the door closing. I told them to wait, that we are there and ready to board. “Sorry sir. The plane door is already closed. We can’t let you on.” I pleaded desperately (I was sure that after getting a loaner car from a hotel manager that getting on this plane would be easy). Chris and Don showed up just in time to see the plane pulling back from the gate. My mouth was open, but no sounds came from it.

Don and Chris had plenty of questions, but the only thing that mattered was this – there were no more flights to Lubbock that day. Midway Airport at the time was a dump and incredibly hot, so staying there the night wasn’t an option. We got on the phone and found out that Jeff Kurka was in Houston. He was planning on driving to Lubbock later that night after picking up slides from Bob Hester, who is/was our slide doctor.

We had a little time to spare – and I was starving – so I dug into the pizza while Don and Chris got us on a Houston flight. Chris was so distraught over the events that he couldn’t eat his, so he put it in the trash in disgust (the pizza had become a symbol of what was wrong in the world). That box sat there for .01 seconds before I tore into it. No food went to waste in my college years.

We got to Houston and Jeff picked us up. He owned a white Geo Prism that was hardly big enough for two people, let alone four trombone players, four trombones, eight additional slides, and luggage. Jeff’s parents had bought him a luggage rack to go on top of the car so we could make everything fit. If you are curious, the trip takes 8 hours 11 minutes according to our friends at Google.

And the trip was dark. In every way possible.

Chris was the music hall manager at Texas Tech. There was a recital happening that evening that he was responsible for. He made calls to make sure the hall was open and the recording was made, but he wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy to be sweating and stuffed into the back seat of a Geo Prism for 8 hours and 15 minutes (8 hours and 15 minutes!).

But Don was fine.

In fact, he decided to stop for a recruiting opportunity. AAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!

Chris and I were furious. Jeff was Switzerland. But Don won. We stopped at a high school student’s house so Don could convince him to come to TTU in the fall. Just this past year I was amazed to find out the student was Bruce Faske who will be performing at this upcoming years Alessi Seminar.

The trip seemed like it would never end. It stuck with me for a long time, but I’ve never been able to put it down in ink until now. In spite of all the craziness of that trip, I did learn a lot:

  • The instruments here are amazing.
  • The people in Wisconsin are great and will help you if you ask.
  • The new Hampton Inn is closer to food so you won’t have to test your “skills” or do a world premiere of a piece to get a ride.
  • Chicago style pizza will change your life. Maybe not enough to make a 3 hour trip into an 18 hour trip, but it’s pretty good.

The T350 I bought that day had a 384CF bell, rose single radius tuning slide, tenor bass crook slide, and a T2 custom silver leadpipe. This trombone sits next to my CNC and I play it every day when I’m making mouthpieces. It’s been modified a bit since, though.

If you were to ask, “would you do it again?”, my answer would be yes. And I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s taken me eighteen years to be able to say this.

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Announcing “Artist of the Month”

May 2nd, 2013 by Joshua Brown

Craig MulcahyWhen we first published our site years ago, the artist page (yep, there was just one back then) received plenty of traffic. It contained very little information other than our artists’ horn specs, but that didn’t stop many of us from visiting every few days or weeks. Some used the information it contained to figure out trends. For others, it just satisfied a curiosity.

Over time, we added bios and the periodic artist feature or interview. We got busy building horns and the latter fell by the wayside, but we’re working to fix that. David Farmer, one of the new guys on the Edwards team, is going to interview an artist every month. We think it’ll be a great way to learn more about the people that play our horns. From time to time, we’ll even ask you to submit questions you’d like answered.

Our first artist interview is with Craig Mulcahy, principal trombonist of the National Symphony Orchestra. We’ll be posting his interview (and possibly a video) on our blog soon. We announce our posts on our Facebook page, so feel free to follow us there.

For those of you that want to see our old artist page, The Wayback Machine has you covered. And for the record, that site design (with the bold red font on the baby blue music motif background) was launched before most of us worked for Edwards. Just so you know…

Posted in Artists | 1 Comment »

David Taylor is Not Complacent

April 5th, 2013 by Joshua Brown

Dave TaylorDavid Taylor’s versatility as a musician is apparent when you look at his gig calendar. He’ll be covering many parts of the globe in the next few months, so if shows up in your area, be sure to go hear him perform. You’ll never play your Bordognis the same way again.

Before we get to the gigs, check out this entertaining interview Dave recently had with Michael Davis. Dave tells some great stories in a way that only he can tell them.

Onto the gigs…

Today and tomorrow (April 5 & 6), Dave will be playing with the New York Philharmonic on their CONTACT series.

On April 12, will be in Buffalo for A Musical Feast where he’ll perform his new piece, Song and Dance for Bass Trombone and Piano. ArtVoice did a feature on Dave where he talks about the new work.

After that, Dave is heading to Klagenfurt, Austria on April 17-21 to premiere Three Songs and a Dance, his new concerto for string orchestra. He’ll also present a masterclass, perform a duet with Dietmar Kublock (Vienna Philharmonic), and perform a solo piece on a concert.

Dave will then take part in the Charles Mingus 91st Birthday Celebration on April 22.

On May 5, Dave will perform with the International Street Cannibals at St. Marks Church in NYC.

The following week, Dave will head to Los Angeles to perform with Daniel Schnyder, Kenny Drew Jr., and the Pacific Orchestra.

Finally, Dave will perform with the Mark Morris Dance Co. in Ojai, CA on June 8-16.

Toby Oft Featured in BSO Video Series

February 26th, 2013 by Joshua Brown

One of our newest artists, Toby Oft, was recently interviewed for the Boston Symphony’s It’s your BSO series. If you’re inclined to watch (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’ll learn about the rebuilding of the BSO low brass section, conductors and entrances, Symphony Hall, and coffee. We’re looking forward to hearing from Stephen Lange and James Markey next.

Tags:
Posted in Artists | No Comments »

Brian Allen Moving Right Along

May 8th, 2012 by Brian Allen

Pretty amazing spring for a trombonist in Mexico. Played Vive Latino (biggest rock festival in Latin America) and recorded a new album for RareNoise Records with Brainkiller. Played all over the country with Brainkiller, A Love Electric and legendary percussionist Cyro Baptista. Beautiful festivals and venues in Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, Chiapas, Durango, Tobasco, Guadalajara, Queretaro, Puebla, Morelia, Aguascalientes and Mexico City. A solo concert. A short US West Coast run. Tomorrow, opening for Peter Brotzmann in the world-renowned Aural Festival.

Thursday, I head to Europe for a week of teaching and playing:

  • Friday, May 11
    Workshop
    Luzern Conservatory, Switzerland
  • Monday, May 14
    Porgy & Bess with Christian Radovan (trombone), Alois Eberl (trombone, accordion) and Se-Lien Chuang (bass recorder)
    Vienna, Austria
  • Tuesday, May 15
    Workshop
    JIM Institute for Jazz and Improvised Music at Anton Bruckner University, Linz Austria
  • Thursday, May 17
    Workshop
    Prague Conservatory, Czech Republic
  • Friday, May 18
    Jazzdock with Mark Aanderud (piano) and Tomáš Hobzek (drums)
    Prague, Czech Republic

Thank to Edwards for sponsoring these workshops.

Here are a few videos of Brainkiller at Vive Latino.

Please join us at facebook.com/brainkillermusic and me at facebook.com/nellanairb.

Horowitz Reviews Taylor

April 5th, 2012 by Joshua Brown

Joe Horowitz’s review of Dave Taylor’s performance of “Schubert Uncorked” with the PostClassical Ensemble is an entertaining read. Here are some of our favorite lines:

“Following a wayward trombonist at the piano is a lot simpler than chasing him with an ensemble in tow.”

“The sheer virtuosity of Taylor’s command of Schubert acrobatic showpiece was never in doubt – he can play it, and beautifully. But Taylor’s virtuosity is divinely wed to an idiosyncratic musical personality wholly his own. A lot of head-shaking and head-scratching followed that dress rehearsal.”

“None of us had anticipated the shock of “Doppelganger” in this context – it was Taylor’s first opportunity to open up and blast us full force. In the audience, bodies bobbed as if electrocuted. Watching the response of the musicians onstage was a rare pleasure: I have never seen members of an orchestra react as vividly, or visibly, to a soloist’s entrance as on this occasion.”

Not that we need extra incentive to hear Dave play, but Joe’s writing really makes us wish we had been in the audience.

Edwards Featured in Milwaukee Paper

March 18th, 2012 by Joshua Brown

Ginseng, toilet paper, rat poison, and high-end trombones. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong. But they’re all manufactured in Wisconsin.

A few weeks ago, Rick Romell of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interviewed Christan for a story on the high level of brass manufacturing in Wisconsin (Elite trombonists lead parade to local custom instrument-makers). Christan was described as “a 39-year-old with a soul patch and a rapid-fire speech pattern sprinkled with musicians’ slang.” Sounds about right.

Romell’s article also discussed Gary Greenhoe’s role in Edwards’ history and his current job as owner of Greenhoe Trombones. It’s worth a read. Also, you can watch a video featuring Christan’s rapid-fire speech and soul patch.

Posted in General | No Comments »

Marshall Gilkes Releases Sound Stories

March 5th, 2012 by Joshua Brown

Marshall Gilkes’ Sound Stories will be available on March 6. In addition to Marshall, the CD features Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; and Eric Doob, drums. Let’s all buy the CD and support Marshall so he’ll keep recording great music!

Upcoming Dave Taylor Performances

February 13th, 2012 by Joshua Brown

Dave Taylor will be performing two upcoming concerts in Washington, DC. First up is a performance with Kenny Drew, Jr. and Daniel Schnyder:

Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 8:00 & 10:00pm
Bohemian Caverns Nightclub
11th & U Street, NW
Washington, DC
Tickets: $20 addvance, $25 door
More info »

In March, Dave returns to DC to perform Schubert Uncorked with the PostClassical Ensemble. The group has commissioned a bass trombone and chamber orchestra version of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata.

Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 8:00 pm
Georgetown University – Gaston Hall
37th and O St. NW
Washington, DC
Tickets $25 ($5 with student ID)
More info »

These promise to be fantastic performances. I’m sure Dave would appreciate a venue packed with receptive brass players!

Categories

Archives