Chief Instrument Designer
Musician, catalyst and gourmet food connoisseur. These are just a few of the many, many words used to describe Morrie, who wears several hats at Backun Musical; however, none are more important than Chief Instrument Designer. Born with a clarinet in one hand and a reamer in the other, Morrie spawned the after-market barrel and bell revolution with his handcrafted creations, while also becoming the go-to woodwind technician for many of the world’s most respected artists.
Whether it’s rebuilding Ricardo Morales’ basset clarinet fifteen minutes before a concerto performance (true story), or developing the next amazing Backun product (did someone say Backun Bass Clarinet?), Morrie is always thinking and always on Facebook. And while he’ll never admit it, he’s truly at home at his repair bench working with our artists on a new prototype or solving the latest woodwind quandary.
When not being traumatized by his personal trainer, Morrie can often be found on Skype chatting with Backun Artists, sampling the latest delicacies of Vancouver’s finest sushi restaurants, and biking the seawall with his wife, Mary (herself a professional clarinetist and educator), and sons Jeremy and Joshua. (PS: Rub Morrie's head to reveal his hidden genie!)
Favourite Backun Product: The first Backun Bb Cocobolo Gold Clarinet that debuted in 2010. When you visit our shop you will find it on display in our front office.
Chef de CNC
VP of Operations
A self-taught and self-made man (in his twenties), Jeremy is the driving force in turning Morrie’s ideas and designs into reality. After all, someone’s got to do it. The sculpted trill keys and modular posting system on our pro clarinets? That’s Jeremy. Armed with a pair of digital calipers and keys to our arsenal of high-tech machines, Jeremy leads our production team in the manufacturing of Backun woodwind products and OEM projects.
Jeremy plays the CNC machine like a Stradivarius, resulting in some of the most beautiful and acoustically advanced musical instruments to grace concert stages around the world. The devil is in the details, and Jeremy’s role as a manufacturing perfectionist shines through in every product we make. The reason our clarinets and accessories are so consistent - time and again - is due to the tireless efforts of our production and assembly teams. And when he’s not improving our products, production processes, or negotiating vendor relationships, Jeremy can be found running Backun Musical’s day-to-day operations with Joel.
If you thought Rodger Federer and Rory McIlroy were talented, you have to see Jeremy on the tennis court and golf course. A fitness and lifestyle guru, Jeremy can be found in the gym, biking to work, or snowboarding our local mountains (usually all in the same day). And a few times a week he goes Maynard Ferguson on everyone as a member of the Pacific Symphony Wind Ensemble’s trumpet section. (PS: Run your mouse through Jeremy's hair!)
Favourite Backun Product: Always the next one!
VP of Sales & Marketing
He’s got enough degrees to wallpaper a bathroom with, but don’t let that fool you: Joel has led Backun Musical’s sales and marketing initiatives through the company’s most explosive periods of growth. Raised in the retail music industry and a recovering classical musician, Joel was the company’s first employee back in 2000 and crafted many a barrel and bell by hand before the days of CNC.
Having developed the company’s brand image and artist program, Joel is responsible for some of the most innovative marketing campaigns in the woodwind industry, including: Backun Musical’s renowned video series (amassing more than 1.6 million views on YouTube), the company’s dominant social media presence and the recently debuted MoBa Alternate Fingering Books. On the sales front, Joel leads the charge in developing and maintaining Backun Musical's diverse sales channels, including: global distributor and dealer relationships, as well as direct-to-consumer retail sales. Often recovering from jetlag between overseas travel, Joel works closely with Morrie on product development and with Jeremy in running the company’s day-to-day operations.Joel holds an MBA in finance and marketing, an MMus in performance and undergraduate degrees in music and arts. A family man, Joel and his wife, Jen, have three beautiful and musically inclined children. He is a bi-weekly platelet donor, NFL Fantasy Football Champion and can sometimes be found chanting Torah at his synagogue. (PS: Wax on, wax off... on Joel's head!)
Favourite Backun Product: Anything made by our exceptional team members!
Co-Developer, MoBa Clarinets and Accessories
There’s no blood relation, but Ricardo has certainly earned a place as a member of our family. One of his generation’s most admired and respected woodwind artists, Ricardo has racked up more accolades than a Broadway Musical while winning every orchestral audition he’s taken… Tall order from his humble Puerto Rican roots as one of five siblings, all of whom are professional musicians.
Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra, Ricardo is a tour de force of all things clarinet. Chosen by James Levine to be Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the tender age of twenty-one, he has learned from the best and continues to inspire future generations of musicians through his faculty appointments at The Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University. And if that’s not enough, Ricardo is deeply involved with every aspect of the design of our MoBa line of Clarinets and Clarinet Accessories.
When not on stage, Ricardo can be found in the practice room at all hours of the day. When he’s not there, he’s with his wife, Amy (a fabulous violinist in her own right) and their daughter. An avid boxing fan, Ricardo traded-in his boxing gloves for the clarinet. Today, his one-two knockout punch is his impeccable ear for tuning and his set of MoBa Clarinets. (PS: Tickle Ricardo's nose and watch him sneeze!)