From left, Jody Espina, president of JodyJazz, and Omar Henderson, former owner of Chedeville.

JodyJazz Acquires Chedeville

JodyJazz has acquired Chedeville, a clarinet and saxophone mouthpiece company.

"For the past two years we have been developing a new range of clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces specifically for the classical and concert band world," said Jody Espina, president of JodyJazz. "Having studied clarinet extensively at the University of South Florida, I was well aware of the Chedeville name and its peerless reputation in clarinet mouthpieces, and, in particular, the distinctive tonal properties of the legendary 'Chedeville Rubber.' When I became aware that they had replicated the original Chedeville Rubber formula and that the company might become available, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only does this acquisition provide us with a famous brand around which to build our classical and concert band offerings, [but] it also provides access to the propriety rubber formula that made the Chedeville mouthpieces so popular in the first place."

The Chedeville company was founded by Charles Chedeville in Paris in the early 1920s and has changed ownership several times until it was taken over by Dr. Omar Henderson.

"Chedeville has been a dream vocation for me as it has allowed me to combine my professional skills as a chemist with my passion for playing the clarinet," Henderson said. "I have dedicated many years of my life and used every ounce of my training, expertise and experience to make the sound of the legendary mouthpieces from the '20s and '30s available once again to today's players," Henderson continued. "Without an heir interested in taking over the business, it was time for me to plan for the next step in the revival of Chedeville. It was most important to me to ensure it would be in the hands of someone who both shared my respect for the legacy of the brand and my passion for authenticity in mouthpiece making. I was of course already well aware of the stellar reputation for quality and consistency of JodyJazz mouthpieces, but it was only after I spent some with Jody Espina personally that I knew that Chedeville had found its new home. Witnessing Jody's dedication and passion for mouthpiece making first hand, I knew that the Chedeville name would not only be safe but would thrive under his leadership. This is a new and exciting chapter in the Chedeville story, and I know that Jody will only take it to even greater heights."

All Chedeville mouthpiece production will transfer to the JodyJazz factory in Savannah, Georgia. The company plans to combine the classical mouthpiece designs currently in development with the Chedeville mouthpiece designs — using the proprietary Chedeville rubber as appropriate. All of its classical clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces will be consolidated under the Chedeville brand, and the company will be hiring a dedicated product manager. According to company representatives, work is already underway developing a full line, which will also include clarinet barrels, to be launched at The 2019 NAMM Show. The website is currently under construction as well.

"In order to make the finest quality woodwind mouthpieces for the classical world — deserving of the Chedeville name — we will seek out some of the greatest talent in the world as advisors and testers of the products," Espina said. "The guiding principle for the Chedeville brand will be to take advantage of everything we have learned at JodyJazz about design, quality, consistency and state-of-the-art technology over the past 18 years while honoring the traditions of the past."