Saxo Folies

Selmer, a world-class saxophone maker

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Program notes

Boris Ehrgott presents a documentary on Henri Selmer, one of the world's greatest saxophone makers.

More than 4,000 fans flocked to Marciac during the festival to admire the last living legend of the saxophone. But what would Sonny Rollins be without his "Selmer"? He speaks of "her" like a woman, a confidante, a muse. The Selmer musical instrument brand, founded in 1885, defined the history of jazz.

It was in French military bands – where Henri Selmer began his career as a clarinetist – that he gained his first instrument-making experience. Then he left for the United States. A true testament to French manufacturing quality, all of the saxophone's 807 parts are still made just a few miles from Paris. With nearly 22,000 instruments produced every year, most destined for export, the Selmer name remains synonymous with quality in largest concert halls the world over.

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