INTERVIEW: Quentin Collins (Launch of the World’s First Carbon Fibre Flugelhorn, Spice of Life 19 July)

Quetin Collins playing the daCarbo trumpet

At the Spice of Life on 19 July, the daCarbo company from Lachen in Switzerland (Canton Schwyz) will host the London launch of its new flugelhorn, the world’s first to be made of carbon fibre. There will be a workshop and instrument demonstration, plus a performance by the Quentin Collins Quartet performing with special guests from the US: Greg Boyer on trombone, who was in Prince’s band and Jon Barnes, trumpeter with Earth Wind & Fire. Sebastian found out from QUENTIN COLLINS who is a daCarbo-endorsed artist, about the background, and the strange hand of fate which first brought him in contact with these instruments:

LondonJazz News: What’s so special about daCarbo?

Quentin Collins: Technically speaking, the carbon fibre alignment in daCarbo construction aims to optimise the instrument’s vibration. The suppression of the vibration basically means there is less wasted energy in the air column.

The result is an instrument that is far easier to play across all registers, allowing the player to concentrate more on the artistry of the music.

LJN: And how foes it feel to play?

QC: Personally, I always feel like I have an intimate experience with the music I’m practising or performing when I play my daCarbo trumpet. I also like the idea that Andi Keller, the designer and owner or daCarbo was a material scientist & semi-professional trumpeter who collaborated with master trumpet designer Werner Spiri to bring two worlds together in its design.

LJN: When and how did you discover daCarbo?

QC: daCarbo is a relatively new company which I’d never heard of until I was performing a concert in Marciac early 2016 and had somehow left my trumpet back at home in the UK. A local brass repairer and instrument hirer came to my rescue, offering a choice of no less than 5 trumpets from which to choose for me to play that night. The first 4 were pretty standard- a Getzen, a Vincent Bach, a Yamaha & a composite that he’d made himself. The 5th & final horn really caught my eye. I immediately loved the look of the carbon fibre, and from the first note I played on the horn I knew I had to own & play the daCarbo trumpet! I was put straight in touch with Andi Keller & the rest was history- that was a good night in my life!

LJN: How long have you been playing daCarbo trumpets?

QC: I have played on my daCarbo Unica model for about a year. I first got my custom Unica model in July 2016.

LJN: Who else plays daCarbo instruments?

QC: The most illustrious endorsees are Arturo Sandoval, Roy Hargrove, who both regularly play their daCarbo trumpets. Claudio Roditi, a trumpeter I admire greatly, originally from Brazil also has one that he performs regularly on. (List of artists endorsing daCarbo instruments)

LJN: Describe in your own words the sound of daCarbo instruments.

QC: The daCarbo horns make a warm & dark sound, thick tone. I can play soft or loud and feel confident that the sound produced is fully representative of the sound I hear in my head. (pp)

VIDEO: Quentin Collins testing the prototype flugelhorn in February 2017:

 LINKS: daCarbo website 
  Spice of Life event, 19 June 
Quentin Collins’ website

Categories: miscellaneous

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