ON A LITTLE CHAT WITH: MORRIS NORTHCUTT

A REAL GENTLEMAN - IN EVERY RESPECT!

GEWA Winds had a nice little chat with famous and highly skilled trumpet player and VINCENT BACH artist Morris Northcutt. Learn more about Morris' career and his special relationship to VINCENT BACH!

Dear Moris, when did you actually start to play the trumpet and why did you choose it?
I began playing the trumpet around the age of eleven or twelve, when my school’s band teacher had an assembly and brought all of the various instruments from which to select. I think the trumpet must have picked me, rather than the other way around, because I don’t recall looking at any other instruments. A few months later, my father introduced me to the legendary trumpeter (on vinyl record), Harry James, and I was immediately hooked for life.


When did you hear for the first time about Vincent Bach?
My band teacher thought I would benefit from private lessons, so it was my first private teacher, Frances McKamey, who suggested I check out the various professional-level trumpet brands at the local music store. All of the major brands were available, but I immediately gravitated to a silver-plated Bach Stradivarius Model 180-43

What was your first impression?
It felt like heaven, very much like when we get our first car. I had butterflies of excitement in my stomach. I still remember the smell of opening up that brand new case with the trumpet still in its wrapping. It felt great holding it in my hand. I thought I sounded pretty good, but I’m certain I sounded terrible back then! I also remember how much easier it was to play.

What impresses you most about your Vincent Bach 190-43 trumpet?
As a professional, what continues to impress me about my trumpet and the entire Bach trumpet line is how flexible the sound can be while performing the different genres. Just as important, no matter whether I’m performing in the United States, France, Ireland, etc., most of the musicians I encounter are playing Bach instruments. Either way, playing in tune and blending with others is much easier on a Bach trumpet!

What could generally be improved upon with trumpets today?
As far as the Vincent Bach line goes, absolutely nothing could be better for me! I must admit, with great technology there are many brands of trumpet on the market today that have good construction, pitch and sound. A musician should select a brand that makes playing easier (mind/body balance), helps create the sound and color the musician is trying to produce, and of course, one that helps the musician blend with others.

What was the funniest situation in your career?
I have had many fun and memorable performances, such as performing on the French Riviera, performing our national anthem for the Seattle Mariners major league baseball team and even performing the “Bugle Call” for a fallen soldier or police officer, just to name a few. However, the funniest situation would be while performing in Valencia, Spain in an outdoor market. During my solo, a pigeon pooped on my head (and shoulders)!

What was the highlight in your career, up to now?
I have so many highlights. To pick a single highlight would be when I became associated with the Bach brand as one of their Official Endorsed Trumpet Artists. That association has helped me build relationships all over the world, for which I am grateful.

What wisdom could you share with other musicians?
Be different by staying in your own lane. By which I mean, each of us is a unique individual. We should focus on playing what moves our own personal spirit and what also encourages others in positive ways. This will help pave our own special path to musical success.

Texte: Interview: GEWA Winds
Photos: Morris Northcutt
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