I have never laughed so much and had so much fun with one of my guests as I did with Theo Wanne. Theo is one of the nicest guys in the saxophone industry and most knowledgeable individuals in the world when it comes to the history, design, and elements that make a great mouthpiece. It isn’t every day that I get to speak with a world authority on what is, perhaps, the most important piece of equipment that we own as saxophonists. This episode was really special for me.
Theo started his manufacturing career early building professional bicycle frames by hand. Theo then turned his love of improvisation into becoming a saxophone repair technician and expert mouthpiece refacer under the direction of the legendary Master Refacer, Bob Carpenter. Theo worked long hours for many years turning thousands of vintage mouthpieces and saxophones into gems. Creating beautiful sound became his passion, and he soon became known as the ‘go to’ guy for vintage equipment.
Theo now owns one of the world’s most popular mouthpiece companies under his own name, Theo Wanne Saxophone Mouthpieces.
There is so much information in this episode, it’s a real treat. Some of the things we talked about:
- Studying the best mouthpieces ever made to see what made them tick.
- Learning to reface a mouthpiece and how that led Theo to designing his own pieces.
- The different elements to a mouthpiece and what effect they have on the sound including material, facing curve, tip opening, baffle, and chamber.
- How Theo embraces technology to make his design and manufacturing process second to none.
- Theo’s website and how it is educating people on the history and beauty of saxophone mouthpieces.