Gonzalez Reeds

Last week, I received a care package from Gonzalez Reeds. I am extremely fortunate to have been a Gonzalez artist since November 2019. I love playing on these reeds! They give me the sound, feel, and consistency that I need to bring my music to life.

The summer before I became a Gonzalez artist, I had been playing the same reeds on my setups for a few years, and I was really happy with them – the sound was what I wanted, the tuning locked in, and the response across the horn felt great. Then festival season hit. Seemingly out of nowhere, the reeds started locking up on the shows, and stop responding the way they had – everything felt too soft. So I went up a strength, and another, and another, until I couldn’t get a harder reed in that cut – still every reed felt too soft. I thought that maybe it was time for a change.

I live in Ottawa, and reed selection is pretty limited, so I reached out to a few different companies, to see if I could get some reeds to try. Gonzalez was really helpful right away. I was able to get some reeds in my hands, and they gave me a chance to test drive different cuts.

At first, I used the Classic reeds across all of my instruments, except for clarinet, which I use(d) the GD cut. I later moved to the Jazz Local 627 cut on tenor, and eventually on baritone saxophone as well (once they came out). One thing that I noticed is that the reeds played harder than I expected, which they warned me of, and after trying several strengths out, I have landed on the reeds that work for me.

Here is what I have used for the last while –

I do notice that the reeds tend to swell quite a bit in the first few plays, which may be an Ottawa issue (the temperature and humidity swing hard here), but a few passes over the back of the reed with my ReedGeek fix that, and they play great.

One of the other aspects of Gonzalez Reeds that I love, is that the reeds are pesticide free, and they packaging contains no plastic. I wish that other manufacturers would consider this – my reeds always ship well, and I have never pulled a broken reed out of the box.

Have you ever tried Gonzalez Reeds? Do you prefer a classical or jazz cut reed?

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