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The Kenny G Saxophones line is distinguished by innovations in keywork, neck design, and more.
Kenny G Saxophones
High-level craftsmanship and artistic touches
combine in sax star’s namesake line

The recording career of saxophone wizard Kenny G, now topping 75 million records sold, dates back 36 years to his self-titled first album in 1982. When it comes to saxophone design, though, Rheuben Allen has been at it even longer than that. A designer and repairman of saxes and clarinets since the 1960s, Rheuben has worked with such artists as Michael Brecker, Emo Phillips, Supersax, Phyllis Diller, and the Johnny Carson Tonight Show Band. In 2008, however, Rheuben joined forces with Kenny G on a new kind of venture for both of them. Between Kenny G’s artistic insights and Rheuben’s technical expertise, the two established an original line of instruments, and later mouthpieces, under the name Kenny G Saxophones. Pursuing innovations in key work, necks, and materials, the company has often looked to bring elements of higher-end instruments to accessible models for students. As Rheuben says, “I’m drawing from my knowledge of the saxophone and experiences with the best saxophone players in the world—and that little kid who just started.”

Across a line of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone models, Kenny G Saxophones are characterized by the kind of details a player would think of. In a video, Kenny G himself says, “What makes this line of saxophones so great is that we put a lot of effort into research before these were ever made.” The saxophone’s bore dimensions, for instance, have been finely calibrated to what the artist calls “the perfect size.” Another focal point in Kenny G workmanship is the neck design; most notably, the Freedom Power Neck Brace developed by Rheuben. By removing most of the solder used on a traditional neck brace and anchoring the component with just two small solder points, the design allows the neck to vibrate and produce a “faster, larger” tone, says Rheuben. “I went through a lot of necks, and this one is unique to our design,” Kenny G says on video. “You can’t find it anywhere else, and it gets exactly what I’m looking for— the quick response and a tone that’s just really beautiful.”

On key work, Kenny G saxes are known for variations geared toward making fingerings more reachable and transitions between registers smoother. For its G Series instruments, for example, Rheuben has redesigned the Front F, or Altissimo key, lowered the Palm E key, and reconfigured the High F# and Trill-F# keys, all in the interest of more seamless technique. The company has also experimented with the position of the thumb rest, offering a design optimized for both comfort and greater flexibility for the player’s right hand. On some models, Kenny G Saxophones offers cut-above details such as hand-engraving, as well as instrument bodies in 85% copper, a feature more often associated with higher-end saxes. “We decided we were going to make the student saxophone like the professional saxophone,” explains Kenny G. “But we’ve priced it so that students can get off to the right start.”

Among its newest introductions, Kenny G Saxophones has been featuring a line of U.S.-made mouthpieces as well as the new ES soprano saxophone—an updated model that the company recently offered at a “back to school” price of less than half the MSRP, making it a highly competitive option for students returning to band for the fall semester. “If you play one of these saxophones, you’ll fall in love with it,” says Rheuben. “They play great, they look great, and they’ll give you years and years of great playing.”

www.kennygsaxophones.com

 

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