Since about October 2011, I am now an endorser for Cannonball Saxophones.
Many have asked me after being an endorser for Julius Keilwerth saxophones since 1993, why did I change? Well, to make a long story short, I’ll have to say that Keilwerth has always been a great horn and the people who worked at Schreiber & Keilwerth have always been absolutely great to work with. They’ve continually produced excellent horns and have always looked to improve upon their models and at the same time try to keep everything making sense business -wise. Unfortunately, after they declared insolvency and eventually had been sold to Buffet-Crampon, I began to have my doubts about what would happen to the brand. The past business relationships between Keilwerth and Buffet has not always been rosy. In fact they often had difficulties which is why they ended relations and hadn’t worked together again in years. Buffet had also run into difficulty as they bought Besson instruments and seemed to have neglected their main “baby” , their clarinets.
Anyway, after the sale of Keilwerth and not having heard anything from Buffet, I decided to introduce myself to Buffet as a long-time endorser of Julius Keilwerth saxophones. Since that day, I never received a reply from them. For me, at least, it was clear that there was no real interest from Buffet-Crampon to further promote the Julius Keilwerth brand in any way. All the people I had known at JK have left and work now at other instrument companies. With that, I decided to look around.
Luckily, during my services at the Frankfurter Music Fair, I got to know Tevis Laukat, president of Cannonball Intruments, and Sheryl Laukat, CEO of Cannonball Instruments, along with Ingrid and Frank von Swaay of MI&D International, distributors of Cannonball Instruments in Europe. I have known them about 4 years now and have always liked what they were doing with their saxes. After a few emails and a meeting, I’m glad to have become a member of the Cannonball Music family.
Since the days of Martin, Buescher, Conn and King, in my opinion there hasn’t been an American saxophone manufacturer that has been on the forefront of the most played saxes by jazz and pop musicians for decades. Ever since John Coltrane played a Selmer saxophone, many other jazz musicians followed suit. Other the years, Yamaha and Yanagisawa made themselves known. Later, other brands like Julius Keilwerth, Borgani, Rampone & Cazzani and P. Mauriat have come into play.
Today, most musicians are playing German, Japanese, French or Italian brands. I have nothing against that at all. More power to all of them! But American brands have seemed to have all but disappeared from the wider scene. I believe now that Cannonball Saxophones have a good chance at changing that picture.
I am proud to be a part of that. Many thanks to Tevis, Sheryl, Ingrid and Frank and their teams!