The Story of how Arturo Found Flip Oakes and his Wild Thing Trumpet

Flip & Arturo

It took me a long twenty-five years to develop the Wild Thing trumpet, and over the years, I had many dreams for it. But I have to admit, there were some dreams I feared would remain only a vision. And, even now it is hard to believe that I have been bestowed this great honor as a trumpet designer. Having Arturo Sandoval play a Wild Thing trumpet is a privilege that I do not take lightly because of the sincere respect I have for him.

I would have never guessed that the same day I attended a funeral for a close trumpet player friend, Al Davis, would be the same day I’d get a call from another friend, Nathan Mills, telling me Arturo Sandoval liked my Flip Oakes Celebration Trumpet after playing it backstage during a show. Arturo wanted to meet with me to talk about my trumpets. However, our schedules conflicted.

So, Nate took a Wild Thing down to the Anthology Jazz Club in San Diego the next night and met up with Arturo after his performance. I understood the risk; what it would imply if he didn’t like it. But more than anything, I know the Wild Thing Trumpet and I believed that Arturo would understand its concept. I play it, and I wanted him to play it. I wanted him to hear it and feel how it is different from all others. I asked Nate to call me, regardless of the hour, and let me know what Arturo’s thoughts were about the horn.

Flip, Arturo & Nate Mills

At 9:45 pm I received a call. I was elated to hear that Arturo wanted to meet me that night. So my wife, Joyce, and I drove down to the Anthology to meet with him. Within minutes of my arrival, he announced, “Say no more, that horn is mine. How much I owe you?” He was taken back by its sound. He not only embraced the trumpet, his enthusiasm filled the room.

Later our conversation evolved, Arturo told me he was looking for a flugelhorn mouthpiece. I told him that I had just what he needed in my shop. Even after telling him it was a 35-mile trip, and despite the fact it was 11:30 pm, he energetically said, “Let’s Go!”. He tried my Flugelhorn, and selected a new #3 WT Flugelhorn mouthpiece. Then he meticulously chose a mute for his new Wild Thing trumpet. Yet, it didn’t end there, time seemed to pass effortlessly with him. This was more than business for me; this was the beginning of a friendship.

Arturo & Nate playing

It was late and Arturo was hungry since he hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch. On our way back to San Diego we decided to stop to get a bite to eat. He overwhelmed us with his sincerity and graciousness. He has perfect balance of humbleness and conviction. In the end, we drove him back to his hotel at 2:30 am, and he seemed like a kid with a new toy. I too, felt like a kid in my own way.

It isn’t often that you meet someone for whom you have such respect, and at the same time, you have the opportunity to offer something that can be of value. That night wasn’t about what either one of us could get from each other. Instead, it was about giving and sharing. We talked about life, family, music, and playing. I personally feel like I was the one on the receiving end of it all.

For me, it was a once in a lifetime experience. I was overwhelmed to be witnessing the beginning of a relationship between a true master and his new trumpet.

It was a true pleasure, Arturo Sandoval, to have met you. Thank you for your support.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Nate Mills for thinking of me and introducing me to Arturo Sandoval

Nate & Arturo

Flip Oakes
Visit Arturo’s Website

Photo Shoot of Arturo Sandoval’s soon to be released CD “A Time For Love” on May 10, 2010

Check out Arturo’s currently available CD’s…. They are Fabulous!

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