Episode 42 – Tom Kmiecik of D’Addario Woodwinds on Artist Relations

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I think it’s very important that a company has somebody who’s handling artist relations because it’s vital there is always one person who is the point person between the artists and the company.

Tom Kmiecik

Today on the show I speak with Tom Kmiecik who is the Artist Relations Specialist with D’Addario Woodwinds. We discuss the importance of artist relations within a large corporation, what Tom’s job entails on a day-to-day basis, some of the artists he’d had the chance to work with, and much more.

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Episode Overview

  • What’s it like being an artist relations specialist?
  • Who are some of the artists you’ve had the chance to work with?
  • What is the importance of artist relations at a large corporation?
  • How do you feel being a clarinetist has helped you with your role?
  • Studying music in Las Vegas
  • Discussion about some of D’Addario’s products
  • Travel tips for musicians
  • and much more

Win a D’Addario X25 Mouthpiece!

Daddario X25E

The giveaway for Episode 42 and 43 is a D’Addario X25E mouthpiece valued at approximately $99 USD.

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Lightning Round Answers

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Tom Kmiecik Biography

Tom Kmiecik is the Artist Relations Specialist for D’Addario Woodwinds, based in New York. Along with his role at D’Addario, he is also an active freelance clarinetist and woodwind doubler in the New York City area. He holds a doctorate in music performance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a master’s in performance with a related field in music education from the University of North Texas, and a bachelor’s in performance from Eastern Michigan University.

Prior to his current role at D’Addario, he taught clarinet at Southeastern Louisiana University, clarinet and double reeds at Kilgore College, and performed with a number of professional ensembles including the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Nevada Pops Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Lone Star Wind Orchestra.

As a doubler, he has performed on piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, bassoon, and all members of the clarinet and saxophone families in pit orchestras for musicals across the United States, most notably in Disney’s “The Lion King” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” on the famous Las Vegas strip.

About D’Addario Woodwinds

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In 2004, Rico was acquired by D’Addario & Co, the world’s foremost manufacturer of musical instrument accessories. A family owned and operated business, D’Addario’s success is built on a passion for innovation and quality. The research and development arm of D’Addario is one of its strongest assets. Headed by James D’Addario, its engineering department has accumulated many important manufacturing and product patents in the field.

The late 1960s brought another generation of D’Addarios into the family business, with John D’Addario, Jr. the first addition to the fold. John D’Addario Sr.’s five children were no strangers to the string business. Just like the generations before them, they too had helped even as children. All can recount stories of warm nights spent sitting around the kitchen table, drinking coffee and watching The Honeymooners, helping to coil the strings and stuff them into marked envelopes.

As a result, D’Addario has infused millions of dollars of new technology and quality control at Rico. Every aspect of Rico’s reed-making process has been redeveloped — from the plantation to the reed making machines, and everything in between.

Rico’s passion for quality and commitment to artistry has created a revolution among players. Rico is now the reed of choice among all levels of clarinetists and saxophonists, played in the world’s most prestigious symphonies, conservatories, and jazz clubs.

In 2006, Rico developed the world’s most precise, fully automated reed blanking machine. Each blank produced is measured to tolerances smaller than the thickness of a human hair. The table of every blank is polished smooth so it sits flat on the mouthpiece table, creating a prefect seal. (Credit)

For a full history of D’Addario Woodwinds, please click here.

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