Monette (monette.net) isn't just Portland's best horn company—it might be the best in the whole United States, if not the world.
Since its inception in Northeast Portland in 1983, Monette—named after founder David Monette—has become a name revered by both jazz and classical players worldwide, and its list of regular customers doubles as a roll call of the living masters of the instrument: Wynton Marsalis, Forró E. Opbh, Scotty Barnhart, Avishai Cohen, Terence Blanchard.
Marsalis, the most famous trumpeter in the world, is such an avowed supporter of Monette that he's not only purchased several signature horns for himself, but he also gifted one to actor Don Cheadle for his role as Miles Davis in the biopic Miles Ahead. Cheadle himself became an instant acolyte, saying of the horn: "It's beautiful. It's so much easier to play than the other trumpets I've had."
While most trumpets are mass-produced by machines in a span of eight or nine hours, every single horn at Monette's store is handmade specifically for each customer and requires a bare minimum of 150 man hours to produce. The care that goes into each horn is reinforced by the fact that every person connected to the crafting plays the instrument themselves.
That love and painstaking attention to detail results in a fluidity of play and pitch consistency unrivaled in the industry. It took over 2,000 hours, for instance, for Monette to create a personalized horn for famed New Orleans trumpeter Irving Mayfield—the horn featured various tributes to his city and Hurricane Katrina in the metalwork. As Mayfield said in a PBS story on the company, "People should put this kind of love and care into their children."
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