Rick's Musical Instruments' Rick Verfaille, JodyJazz's Jody Espina with Rick's Musical Instruments' Jaime Rodrigues and Scott Abrahamson.

Rick's Hosts Saxophone Day

Rick's Musical Instruments hosted Saxophone Day at its anchor store in Cumberland, Rhode Island, on May 14. Known for its large inventory of step-up and advanced instruments in a dedicated Pro Shop, Rick's holds major events twice a year that focus on a different instrument or instrument family. Working with manufacturer partners, the store brings in additional inventory, and creates an expanded showcase of horns, mouthpieces, accessories and sheet music.

"Our company is super focused on education," said Scott Abrahamson, the company's director of education and a former school music educator. "Our team is not only comprised of working musicians, but musicians with teaching backgrounds as well. So, we take the emphasis off sales, and focus on education."

Saxophone Day featured master classes by Jim Odgren, Professor at Berklee College of Music; Jody Espina, founder of JodyJazz; and baritone saxophone legend Gary Smulyan, who appeared courtesy of Vandoren. Rick's Musical Instruments also involved in-house talent, such as saxophone instructor James Mullen and Jaime Rodrigues, education rep and repair tech. The event also included a live performance by The Sultans of Sax and Generations Saxophone Quartet.

"Attendance was great, lots of customers tried saxes, and the master classes and performances were full," said Richard Verfaille, president and owner of Rick's. "We sold many saxophones, and lots of mouthpieces and accessories.

"We know from past events that we will continue to have residual sales in the weeks and months ahead. Some customers will opt to come back later to purchase. Either way, word spreads, and we are known as to the go-to place for upgrade instruments."

The Rick's team partnered with Antigua Winds, Buffet-Crampon, Cannonball, Conn-Selmer, D'Addario, Eastman Music Company, JodyJazz Saxophone and Clarinet Mouthpieces, KHS America/Jupiter Band Instruments, Legere Reeds and Vandoren to put this event together.