Sax Noir Quartet
Sax Noir is a saxophone quartet dedicated to exploring the full width and depth of classical, jazz, pop and standards repertoire for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxophones. The expressive nature of the instruments and the group’s high performance standards make them a crowd-pleasing feature act in the concert hall. They have been featured performers with the Burnaby Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Philharmonic, the Richmond Concert Band and the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The dynamic flexibility and rich warm timbre of the saxophones are also a natural for chamber music recitals. Sax Noir delights in performing educational concerts and doing clinics with young saxophonists.
Sax Noir has been using Légère Reeds exclusively since 2012.
Debbie Webb; lead soprano and alto saxophone, is principal saxophonist of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the Sea to Sky Wind Ensemble. Debbie is one of Vancouver’s premiere classical saxophonists. A featured soloist with the 15th Field Royal Canadian Artillery Band, critics called her performance “flashy, featuring an explosive profusion of arabesque melody, which she handled with fluid ease”.
“Out of the package Légère Signature Reeds provide me with warm classical tone qualities and impressive response. I love the consistency of each Légère Signature Reed and the assurance that they will always perform reliably when doubling.”
Valerie Crocker; alto saxophonist, has degrees in music and education from the University of British Columbia, teaches music for the North Vancouver School District, and has performed with West Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Philharmonic, and the New West Symphony Orchestra. She is the tenor saxophonist with the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
“I love using Légère reeds because I know I can count on them. I can pick my horn up and know that my reed is ready to play, every time. I don't need to spend time finding reeds that work, and I never have to worry that my reed will give up before I'm done playing. They deliver a consistently great sound. I'd recommend them to anyone, from beginners to professionals.”
Bryan Canuel; tenor saxophonist, has a degree in music from the University of British Columbia. Bryan studied with Julia Nolan, David Branter and Colin MacDonald. Since 2005, Bryan has performed on his sterling silver Yanagisawa alto saxophone with the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In 2013, Bryan joined the Sax Noir quartet and is delighted to play his Trevor James Signature Custom “RAW” tenor saxophone with his colleagues.
“The Légère Professional Signature Series reeds are my one and only choice for my tenor saxophone. The response, warmth and immediate playability are what ultimately had me sold. I love how I can just pick up my horn and start playing without having to worry about whether my reed is going to let me down or not. I strongly recommend Légère reeds to players at all levels; you won’t be disappointed!”
Chuck Currie; baritone saxophone, performs with the Vancouver Island Symphony, the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, The Band of the 15th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Sax Noir, Pacific Blackwood Bass Clarinet Quartet, the Vancouver Saxophone Ensemble and is the proprietor of Sax Noir Studio. Chuck is a Backun Canada and a Conn Selmer artist performing exclusively on Backun MoBa Clarinets, Selmer Privilege Bass Clarinets, Yanagisawa Silver Sonic Saxophones, Trevor James RAW saxophones, Légère Reeds and Morales-Backun bells and barrels and mouthpieces on all clarinets. Chuck is a Canadian Champion for Music Education, a spokesman and performer for the Coalition for Music Education.
He has performed at Canadian Music Educator Association conventions, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conferences, at North American Saxophone Alliance conferences and at International Clarinet Association Clarinetfests. A reviewer of the opening concert of the Vancouver 2007 Clarinetfest reported “he did an absolutely amazing job of interpreting the bass clarinet solos in Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades. Never have I heard a bass clarinet shape and bend notes like that...what amazing projection.”
He teaches at his own Sax Noir Studio, and conducts clinics and master classes throughout British Columbia. Students have auditioned successfully for the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, the British Columbia Honour Orchestra, the National Youth Band of Canada, and the International Honors Wind Symphony at Lincoln Center.
“I first used Légère reeds on my “shop mouthpieces” when doing woodwind repairs. At gigs during that time, I would sometimes reflect that I had felt better about the shop setup than my performance setup that night! When recording in Las Vegas and having nothing but trouble with cane reeds that I had brought from Vancouver, I decided to do something about it.
As a doubler and teacher, I felt that to fully test the reeds out I needed to get enough inventory for all my instruments and all the mouthpieces I stock in the studio for student trial….so my initial order was over one hundred reeds, and I did extensive testing including “blind” side by sides in a recording studio.
Two weeks later, I was using the reeds in performance and had to reorder 50 more reeds to satisfy my students’ needs. Légère reeds have clarity of tone, incredibly clean and responsive articulation, and are particularly stable in the upper registers and altissimo of all single reed instruments. I no longer spend 20% of my practice and teaching time adjusting and seasoning reeds.”