Ramón Wodkowski – Mouthpiece Craftsman Visit

November 10th, 2017 by Tori Okwabi

We are excited to announce that Ramón Wodkowski will be in Minnesota November 13-16, 2017.  He will be visiting the clarinet studios at the University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College on Monday, Nov. 13 to give a lecture about his unique craft. On Tuesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 16 Ramón will be in the Recital Hall at Midwest Musical Imports from 9am-5pm.

Please email Tori at Tori@mmimports.com or call the store at 612-331-4717 to schedule a 30 minute to 1 hour appointment with Ramón.   He will have his line of customizable mouthpieces available and will also be able to reface your current mouthpiece.  Time slots may fill up fast so don’t wait to make an appointment!

Ramón Wodkowski is the leading clarinet mouthpiece craftsman of his generation, having garnered international acclaim from many of the world’s leading soloists, orchestral musicians and teachers.

A native of Michigan, Ramón graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy before earning his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and master’s degree from the Yale University School of Music. Ramón became interested in mouthpiece design whilst at Yale, and pursued studies in mouthpiece crafting with James Kanter and Everett Matson.

Ramón’s interest in the British clarinet tradition led him to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where he gained an Artist Diploma, won the prestigious Frederick Thurston prize, and was subsequently awarded the 2005-06 David Bowerman Junior Fellowship.

A professional clarinetist himself, Ramón understands what players need from a mouthpiece, and his in-depth knowledge and experience with both the American and European clarinet traditions provides him the versatility to customize each mouthpiece to suit its owner’s individual playing style.

To learn more about Ramón please visit his website at www.ramonwodkowski.com

Welcome Richie Hawley!

July 26th, 2016 by Tori Okwabi

We are excited to announce our collaboration with Buffet-Crampon artist and Rice University’s Richie Hawley!  Richie is currently the Professor of Clarinet at the Shepherd School of Music in Houston, TX.  He is a highly sought after performer and teacher and we are honored to join forces with him!  Our current plans are to send Richie to the Paris Buffet-Crampon factory in September to hand-select high quality instruments.  His goal is to find instruments that are versatile for any player!

“I’m very excited to be working with MMI to hand-select instruments. There are few shops that can combine an excellent selection of instruments with specialists who can tailor their instruments to your needs.  The folks at MMI are fun, knowledgeable and are guaranteed to give you great service!” -R.H.

Once the instruments arrive at our store they are professionally set-up to ensure that they are in top playing condition for trials.  This includes changing critical pads, adjusting tone holes and spring tension.  You will be amazed by the difference our changes make!

We have a great variety of clarinets in stock including the new Tradition.  The instrument is easy blowing yet the depth of the sound is not compromised. These instruments are a must try!  We also have a great selection of Eb, A and Bass clarinets.  Our Prestige and Tosca bass clarinets  are always in stock!

Our generous 7-day no deposit trial system also allows you to take up to three at a time!  Call us today to set up a trial and feel the difference in our clarinets!

Richie Hawley. Buffet pallet

(Richie at the Buffet-Crampon factory in Jacksonville)

Richie with repair

(Richie working with our repair specialists)

New Buffet Bass Clarinets

December 15th, 2015 by Tori Okwabi

Close up Bass Clarinet - Prestige buffetBuffet Crampon’s 1193 Prestige bass clarinet is an excellent instrument that features amazing projection that will cut through any band or orchestra with ease.  The overall sound is warm, focused and consistent throughout all ranges.  The altissimo range is particularly easy to play with the right mouthpiece and reed combination.  The rich quality in the lower register combined with the quintessential bass clarinet sound is sure not to disappoint.

 

Tosca up close

Buffet Crampon’s Tosca bass clarinet is amazing! On first play I sensed how easy it is to play.  The new bore design creates a sound that is soloistic in nature but is also warm and focused.  Immediately I could tell the difference between the Prestige in sound and key performance.  The instrument seems to do all the work for you as it almost has the feel of playing a Bb clarinet, especially when going over the break.  This is perhaps due to the new and unique register key system.  The keys are easy to reach (even for small hands) as it has a compact feel.  Buffet replaced the right thumb low D with an alternate low Eb (Genius!)  The consistency in tone and feel between each register is amazing. The intonation of the instrument is quite good.  There is definitely an improvement in tuning in comparison to the Prestige, however, as with all instruments there are some inconsistencies.

We have regular stock of these instruments, which is very rare.  This gives buyers an opportunity to gage the amazing feel and tone for themselves.

I've only heard great reviews about this trial procedure with [Midwest Musical Imports, it was very convenient.