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International Saxophone Symposium

I'll be there only on Friday. Ron Coelho (RPC) asked me to show his new tenor mouthpiece designs while I'm there. I'll have a 115B and a 115R for you to try out. He's made changes to both designs.

I'll probably bring some mouthpieces from my collection to sell, too.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Thanks for the message Al. Unfortunately that is a long way to travel from where I live. Be sure to catch the New Century Saxophone Quartet on Friday. They are simply amazing.

Update: Charlie Almeida is not coming with me this year. And I mightl not be at the Saturday session because I have a gig down here on Sunday. Unless I can convince my wife to drive with me through the night. Saturday is when a lot happens.

We're leaving for Virginia tomorrow to spend some time with kids and grandkids. My daughter lives only a few miles from where the Symposium is being held.
Another update: I will not be showing the new RPC 115B. Ron called and asked me not to. The one I have is a prototype, and the production model has some changes.

Tonight will be a busy one. I have a gig until 9:30. Then I hope to make it over to Cocoa Beach to catch a set of Allan Vache at Heidi's Jazz Club. Then I come home and hit the rack for an early rising and a 13-hour drive to Virginia.
I got the clearance to attend some of Saturday's sessions. My wife agreed to leave Saturday evening and drive overnight splitting wheel time.

I'm bringing along about about ten mouthpieces for sale.


Staff member
Have a great time and give us a report. It's a bit of a drive for me otherwise I would attend.


Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
I've been to the Symposium a couple of times, and had a really great time on both occasions.

On my first one, Curt Altarac of MusicMedic shared a room with me. We're still really good friends, though he told me he'd never do it again, due to my snoring.

I got to hang with Keith Bradbury on my second outing. Great times talking mouthpieces and eating BBQ.
I'm here :)

Don't know where I'll end up today or what i'll see yet. Right now, I'm sitting in the Harris theater waiting for Marty Nau's jazz recital to start. I got early and some practicing time. Sounds real good.

Will make another report later in the day.
I am home now. Because I have a gig today down south, I left after yesterday's morning sessions to drive home. We drove all day and into the evening and got home about 2 am.

I attended Mojo's mouthpiece lecture on Friday. It was technical and informative. We learned how Mojo (Keith) uses spreadsheet technology to calculate mouthpiece dimensions among other things.

The only session I attended on Saturday was a repeat of one I saw last year. Jim Carroll has a warm teaching style and an infectious love for the saxophone and for jazz.

The dealer's room got most of my time. I tried out several tenor saxophones. Here are some brief reviews.

Washington Music Center had a Reference 36 displayed next to a Reference 54 LE. Since I own an LE, I was happy to have the opportunity to compare them. Their LE, however, badly needed a setup. The notes from F1 down were unplayable. A young salesman came by to answer questions. I told him about the horn. He said maybe I need to get used to it. I explained that I already have one. He said sometimes it's the neck. I wondered whether this kid knew anything at all. I suggested he try the horn himself. He said he could not because he is a trombone player. That solved that. Another salesman came by and explained that all of the horns on display are "out of the box."

Why do they do that? Why send unplayable saxophones to a Saxophone Symphosium? Why send a trombone player to sell them? I'll never understand it.

The Reference 36, however, had no such problems, is a sweet-playing horn, and I'd love to have one.

I played a Buffet 400 tenor. What a nice-playing horn for my kind of music. Easy low tones, effortless subtones, and perfect intonation up and down. I could have played that thing all day. That could easily be my main tenor. The salesman is from Music & Arts Center in Jacksonville and is a saxophone player. We know a lot of the same players, so we had that to talk about, too.

Next up was the Cannonball Vintage. I forget the name of the dealer. I've been wanting to try a CB Vintage since I read all the debates on sotw. This horn is definitely not for me. The tone is harsh and abrasive, and the action is clattery and loose. They said it had been set up.

I have to leave for now, but if I think of more, I'll return.


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
I prefer the Ref 36 to the Ref 54 LE tenor sax. But then tenor has always been a challenge for me. Suzy and I both have Ref 54 LE altos, hers a Kookaburra and mine a Hummingbird. They always get comments when we play them as they are stunning instruments.
I had a great time. So much so, I just type up a complete review of my experience of the event. And then, I accidentally deleted it.


I'll try again later along with a few photos I took. Missed you Al. I bet I saw you and didn't know it.


Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
I don't get that "play the soprano with a strap" thing. I know straight sopranos are now being built with strap hooks, but to me, when I see someone playing one with a neck strap, it just looks weird. Must be one of those...When I was young, straight sopranos where played... :geezer1:Oh well, I guess I'm just showing my age...;-)
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