September 10, 2016 · · Taken at Del Quadro Custom Trumpets
A few weeks ago I was invited to a BBQ thrown by local trumpet player and International man of mystery, Jason Levi. After having a very nice lunch of delicious grilled meats, sides, and a few adult beverages.. people started asking me about work. There are a lot of trumpet players there. So we are just talking and all of a sudden, Jason comes out of the other room with this. “Can you fix this, Mike??” He says jokingly. Now.. let’s back up a few beats here. I was a few beers in and I don’t really drink very much. I am very confident in my abilities and the work I do, but Sober Mike would be fairly measured in taking the job.. however.. Jason wasn’t talking to Sober Mike… Jason was talking to “Two beers Mike” in a room full of potential clients. I was so eager to look at this horn, I might as well have been ripping off a button up shirt to reveal the S on my chest! “Of course I can fix this, Jason! This is what I do, man! I don’t go to your gig and tell you how to put on your eye liner!” …or something along those lines. Thought he would miss this horn being a cherished conversation piece, after I gave him a very reasonable price, he was happy to let me take it home.
The story I gathered was that Jason backed over it with his car (I assume in High School). Fortunately, his dad (Ron Levi.. Also a trumpet player and also at this BBQ) being the actual owner of the horn decided to laugh the whole thing off rather than murder Jason. Ron said to me, “That horn was my pride and joy!”
As I got close to finishing the job, Ron came by to play the horn. First words out of his mouth, “Jason isn’t getting this thing back!” I don’t care who takes it as long as one of them pay me!
I’m honored to have gotten to work on this horn. Both Levi’s are fantastic players in their own right and this project… this might be the furthest I have ever taken a bell back. I was so certain it was going to crack, but it didn’t. The worst of it’s problems is the touch of redrot in the leadpipe, which is likely more from it sitting dirty OR was present before the damage. Completely unrelated.. of course. If the tire had run over the valve section.. completely different story.
Thanks for trusting me with this project, Jason. Sorry to ruin your conversation piece!
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