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Saxophones Suga Mama and Cannonball

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Location
Berkshire, UK
Looks like Saxation were beaten to the line because Beyonce has an all female sax and brass band called Suga Mama. Sponsored by Cannonball. Has anyone played a Cannonball?

When Beyoncé Knowles takes the stage at the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, her three horn players are going to shine. Two saxophonists and one trumpet player – all Cannonball artists – make up the horn section of Suga Mama, Beyonce’s all-girl band.


Katty “Kat” Rodriguez Harrold (tenor and baritone sax), Adison Evans (alto sax), and Crystal J. Torres (trumpet) are outstanding musicians by themselves, but combine as a tour-de-force section with a trademark crisp, powerful sound. Their Big Bell Stone Series instruments project a powerful, soulful sound that adds to the energy of the group.
A noteworthy aspect of the group is their matching black horns. The Cannonball alto, tenor, and bari saxophones and the trumpet are all matte black with polished black highlights: The Raven finish.
We asked Tevis Laukat, President of Cannonball Musical Instruments, to tell us about Beyonce’s band, the Super Bowl, and “those black saxophones and trumpet.”
First of all, just how did Beyoncé’s horn section end up playing Cannonball Ravens?
“Crystal [Torres] met us at the NAMM Show last year, where she fell in love with our Big Bell Raven trumpet. She’s been playing it with Beyoncé for a year now,” says Tevis.
Beyoncé liked it and wanted all black horns in her band, so Kat asked her repair technician for recommendations. Tevis recalls, “Her tech told her: ‘There’s only one – the Cannonball Raven.’ So they called me.”
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
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3,821
Location
Manchester,England
Hi PJ, yes, I play a Cannonball Big Bell stone series tenor. Very nice sax. I think Steven Howard does a review of them on his website..
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Location
Berkshire, UK
Wow, the sax sounds fantastic....Gerald Albright is unbelievable!! My sort of music. How much do these saxophones cost? Would I sound as good?
 
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Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Location
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
I love the idea that someone insisted that they all have black instruments - I wonder if they have matching mouthpieces, reeds and slings?

Someone who used to work with him on the Coke commercials told me that Julio Iglesias had his microphones colour-matched with his bow ties. I have enough trouble putting on socks that match. But I suppose he had people to do that for him.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
Location
Netherlands
me too. Big bell global steries but with stone series neck (fat neck)

I once compared it with a MVI owned by a Dutch pro.. I dont say it beats a MVI but a came very close! (the MVI was had a larger dynamic range and was real easy to control)
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,431
Location
Daventry
I played a Raven tenor for about 4 years till I changed to my current Yamaha 875. Yes, a great sax, loads of volume, built like a battleship (and weighs about the same), great looks, great flexibility. Still for sale at Howarths if anyone is interested.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Location
Berkshire, UK
Thought I would like to find out more about Canonball and possibly try one so I contacted them in the USA and they sent this -

Hello,Thank you for your reply. It has been our experience that our customers are happier when they can personally try horns and choose the best one for them. What will work best for one person may not be the choice for the next person. Therefore, we do not allow our dealers to sell the horns online, which is why you weren’t able to find them on their website. Our instruments are all hand-customized and to the musician’s ears, they will vary slightly. Also the different physical features of people affect the sound of the instruments and will affect what works best for them. In addition to that, each musician is looking for a certain sound for whatever venues or styles of music they are playing for. We really hope you will take the time to go to your nearest dealer and personally try the horns there. It’s also a great idea to bring another person with you who can tell you what they are hearing so you get the perspective of you - the player, and a friend – the listener. We wish you the best in your search! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I don’t have information on dealers in the UK, but Windcraft, our distributor has more information and will be able to direct you to where you can try out horns. Thanks,Rachel Laukat

I explained that Windcraft don't have a list of dealers on their site, that I wanted to try one of the horns and I had no intention of buying online! All I was threatening to do was spend money!

Very poor response. Not heard from them again. I shall give it a miss.
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
Very poor response. Not heard from them again. I shall give it a miss.

just get yourself a Yamaha, you will not be sad and i say this as a very bias yamaha player who has played on the same tenor for over 20 years and recently was asked to test run many brands and models of saxes and the 62 sailed above them even the new yam Z etc so there must be something sound to that!
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
just get yourself a Yamaha, you will not be sad and i say this as a very bias yamaha player who has played on the same tenor for over 20 years and recently was asked to test run many brands and models of saxes and the 62 sailed above them even the new yam Z etc so there must be something sound to that!

The man speaks the truth! Get a Yamaha 62...

Greg S.
Member of the CSYAS (Cafe Saxophone Yamaha Appreciation Society)
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,582
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Thought I would like to find out more about Canonball and possibly try one so I contacted them in the USA and they sent this -

Hello,Thank you for your reply. It has been our experience that our customers are happier when they can personally try horns and choose the best one for them. What will work best for one person may not be the choice for the next person. Therefore, we do not allow our dealers to sell the horns online, which is why you weren’t able to find them on their website. Our instruments are all hand-customized and to the musician’s ears, they will vary slightly. Also the different physical features of people affect the sound of the instruments and will affect what works best for them. In addition to that, each musician is looking for a certain sound for whatever venues or styles of music they are playing for. We really hope you will take the time to go to your nearest dealer and personally try the horns there. It’s also a great idea to bring another person with you who can tell you what they are hearing so you get the perspective of you - the player, and a friend – the listener. We wish you the best in your search! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I don’t have information on dealers in the UK, but Windcraft, our distributor has more information and will be able to direct you to where you can try out horns. Thanks,Rachel Laukat

I explained that Windcraft don't have a list of dealers on their site, that I wanted to try one of the horns and I had no intention of buying online! All I was threatening to do was spend money!

Very poor response. Not heard from them again. I shall give it a miss.

Have you tried http://www.cannonballmusic.co.uk/
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,294
Location
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Very poor response. Not heard from them again. I shall give it a miss.
Hmmm, I think that their response was well worded and said a lot about how they operate, hats off to them if they won't let their dealers sell online and wish to keep it a more personal experience in buying a sax. Last year I enquired about trying one out and they gave me the name of Windblowers as my nearest dealer, who did have them in and offered me a trial but sadly I didn't follow it up as funds wouldn't allow :(
My aim is to try one and hopefully buy one in the not to distant future
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Location
Berkshire, UK
Their response was well worded but I wanted to know - who are their dealers? is one local to me? simple product information and references from local people? sterling pricing? any second hand horns? local warranty? local customer support?

To not be able to provide this information is simply not good enough when selling a premium product - or ANY product! I never said at any stage that I was going to purchase online so where she got that notion I have no idea. Add to that the fact that Windcraft (owned by Dawkes I believe) do not advertise ANYTHING about Canonball and it all becomes a bit of a mystery and perplexing. I do not want to buy one yet but I am now concerned about how they conduct their business.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Location
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
Their response was well worded but I wanted to know - who are their dealers? is one local to me? simple product information and references from local people? sterling pricing? any second hand horns? local warranty? local customer support?

To not be able to provide this information is simply not good enough when selling a premium product - or ANY product! I never said at any stage that I was going to purchase online so where she got that notion I have no idea. Add to that the fact that Windcraft (owned by Dawkes I believe) do not advertise ANYTHING about Canonball and it all becomes a bit of a mystery and perplexing. I do not want to buy one yet but I am now concerned about how they conduct their business.

It's the cursed autoreply system. Some 14 year old probably just looked at a bunch of pre-written emails and thought "That one will do." and hit send.

I moved countries in January. After winding up my business there after I had actually left, I emailed my bank asking them how I could close the account, telling them that I had moved countries, no longer needed the account, etc.

Got an email back asking me drop by and discuss with them why I wanted to cancel the account.

Sure I'm going to fly for five hours to do that.

What it indicates to me - as does your experience - is that most businesses don't want you as a customer - you're too much trouble. And sadly, the companies that do give you good service are going out of business fast.
 
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davidk

Paints With Notes
Messages
341
Location
Earth
Hi ProfJames

If you're in Berkshire, then Dawkes is probably your nearest dealer. I bought my Cannonball (Vintage tenor) from them, and was able to try a few. I preferred it the Yamahas, and found it very close to a Yanagisawa T991. The Cannonball felt better in my large hands, so I traded my Mark VI for it. The Cannonball Vintage and Yanagisawa T991 were the only horns I tried that suited me better than a Mark VI. The Cannonball Stone Series and Yanagisawa T992 weren't so good. I'm not trying to imply that materials matter, just that setup is important.

If you send Windcraft an e-mail with your postcode, they'll confirm your nearest Cannonball dealer: http://www.windcraft.co.uk/contact-us.php

Regarding Yamaha, I liked an unlacquered 82Z, just not as much as the Cannonball or Yanagisawa. I preferred the unlacquered 82Z to the lacquered version, but again I'll put that down to differences in the setup.

Dawkes have two second-hand Cannonball tenors in stock at the moment: http://dawkes.co.uk/second-hand-saxophones.php

New price for tenors in the UK: around £2000 to £2500.

Sax.co.uk are also a Cannonball dealer.

Best regards

David
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Location
Berkshire, UK
Thanks David. Dawkes are on my doorstep and don't advertise Canonball saxes on their website! I shall pop in there tomorrow.
 

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