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Edwards T396-A Joseph Alessi Tenor Trombone


Item Details

This is a custom trombone built for Joseph Alessi, soloist and trombonist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  When Joseph Alessi is not playing in the back row of Lincoln Center, he can be found performing solos in front of orchestras and in recitals. His music versatility requires an instrument that will meet his needs. The T396-A meets those needs and then some.

Mr. Alessi is a principal orchestral player. His instrument must crown the low brass section while blending with the orchestra. This balance was of the utmost importance when designing his signature trombone. But Edwards could not ignore Mr. Alessi's considerable solo capabilities.

So they set out to provide Mr. Alessi with a horn that gave him the correct timbre and feel no matter the musical setting. This is more difficult than it sounds. A lot of timbre comes with having an instrument that is tonally flexible without becoming unstable in different registers. Edwards achieved their goals due to the fact that the T396-A is the first "acoustically-tunable" fixed instrument.

US Pat No 8,247,675


Standard Features

Bore Size
Slide and Leadpipe

Edwards exhausted all possibilities when coming to a consensus on a slide. Mr. Alessi played on several end crooks searching for the one that not only balanced the instrument, but also gave him the correct amount of feedback.

Minor changes in the leadpipe and mouthpiece can have a major impact on playing. Mr. Alessi worked through myriad options before picking a sterling silver custom leadpipe with numerous proprietary elements. The leadpipe is fixed into the slide.

The final result includes a slide with nickel oversleeves, specially-treated rose brass outer tubes, a yellow brass end crook and Mr. Alessi's Signature Silver Leadpipe.


The Alessi bell is the result of Mr. Alessi trying countless combinations of mandrels, gauges and materials. The payoff is a bell that not only sounds wonderful in the New York Philharmonic, but also allows Mr. Alessi to play solo recitals at the levels he demands.

The bell is constructed of yellow brass (70% copper and 30% zinc). The rim is unsoldered yet maintains a depth of sound.

Tuning Slide
The tuning slide has a single radius and is rose brass. It is designed with unique trim points and construction materials to strike the perfect balance between sound and feel.
Valve Section
The Alessi Model was built around the Rotax Valve by Willson. This valve provides a great sound and feel for the player and is constructed using solid brass manufacturing principles.
Rotax Valve

Seeking the sound and feel he was after, Mr. Alessi tried every available valve on the market. Some provided a great tone or a nice feel, but rarely delivered on both. Other valves had build and playability issues.

The Rotax valve is an integral part of the Alessi Model design. It is machined to the standards demanded by Willson Instruments. From a player's perspective, it responds quickly and helps produce a wonderful large bore tenor sound.

Harmonic Bridge (US Pat No 8,247,675)

Consumers (and even some manufacturers) often overlook the importance of bracing. It's vitally important for two reasons. First, a solid brace design allows manufacturers to build stress-free instruments. Second, an instrument's playability and response will be exponentially better with braces in the correct nodal positions on the instrument. This means the Alessi Model will sing for you.

The T396-A utilizes the Harmonic Bridge (US Pat No 8,247,675) and Harmonic Pillars (US Pat No 8,247,675).

Valve Wrap

The wrap shares similarities with the Larry Minick wrap. Used by instrument companies since the 1970's, the Minick wrap concept provides a smooth transition in and out of a conventional rotor.

The material within the wrap is a combination of rose and yellow brass. Blending alloys helped us achieve the unique sound Mr. Alessi was after. Construction allows the air to maintain its direction without hidden gaps or spaces. The F tuning slide has a single radius.



A sleek Edwards 3K carbon fiber case is included. It features 2 internal storage compartments, backpack straps and a double mouthpiece pouch.  Case weight is 6.75 lbs (3 kg).


Who plays the Alessi Model T396-A Trombone

Alessi, Joseph
Bencze, Csaba
Brickens, Nathaniel
Crimi, Jason
Dixon, Joe
Dugan, Michael
Faske, Bruce
Ferro, Nicola
Giussani, Ermes
Hao, Jay
Hearn, Barry
Jeffs, Stan
Mannix, Natalie
Mulcahy, Craig
Myers, Timothy
Osborne, Ben
Pire, Alain
Randazzo, Jonathan
Robertson, Jemmie
Rogers, Lee
Scipioni, Gianluca
Sharp, Russell
Stewart, Amanda
Timmons, Will
Yoo, Jeon-Sik

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