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About Gabriel

Hi all, I’m Gabriel Vatavu. My career as a musician started more than 30 years ago, as a classically trained clarinet player. Ten years into my musical journey I started studying saxophones as well. I focused not only on learning how to play them, but also on every technical aspect of the saxophone (Repairs, mouthpieces, reeds, set-ups) I started taking a serious interest in repairing in 1998.

Since 2003, I worked as an instrument technician at Forwinds and from 2007 at Allan’s and Billy Hyde Music. I started off as a woodwind specialist and in 2008 I specialized in brass repairs as well, with the reputable Jim Berringer from Melbourne. Gabriel Vatavu Brass & Woodwind Repairs was formed in 2011.

Repairing instruments is so much more than a job to me. I love bringing an artist’s vehicle of expression back to its full potential. The experience I draw from being a saxophone and clarinet player, as well as a mouthpiece maker enables me to a deeper understanding of the instrument. I love offering the young musician as well as the experienced professional the best of their instrument.

About Daniel Braben

I’m happy to announce that in 2015 Daniel Braben has joined me in the workshop. He recently returned to repairing in Brisbane after a second two year stint in Germany where he worked for the Werner Fischer Company, mostly overhauling professional flutes for orchestras around Germany and Europe including the Berliner Philharmoniker. Daniel’s attention to detail means that all instruments he works on leave the workshop performing to their full potential.

With both of us having 20 years experience in instrument repairing, we are sure to set a new benchmark in workmanship quality.

Testimonials

"For me the evolution of my own unique musical expression is an obsession. I can honestly say that Garbriel's artistry through mouthpiece refacing has helped to remove obstacles from my path and made it easier for me to realise my own personal sound. Gabriel is a man of great integrity and insatiable perfectionism. There is no-one I would trust more with my mouthpieces"
Isaac Hurren
2009 National Jazz Award Winner 2011 ARIA Award Best Jazz Album 2012 Freedman Fellowship Finalist
"Gabriel Vatavu is a mouthpiece master! His refacing, repairing and restoring work is worldclass. Gabriel has done exceptional work for me on soprano, alto and tenor saxophone mouthpieces. His understanding and craftsmanship is unsurpassed. He's the best of the best! "
Mark Taylor
www.marktaylor.com.au
"I highly recommend Gabriel Vatavu for all woodwind instrument repairs and maintenance. He provides friendly service, sound advice, and high quality workmanship. "
Graeme Norris
Jazz Musician, Composer, Teacher at Queensland Conservatorium and JMI
"I absolutely love Gabriel's work on my mouthpieces. His baffle work is incredible and I love the facings he uses. He made my vintage HR Otto Link an absolute beast. He knows what a piece needs. I don't even need to say anything!!! Awesome work dude!!!!"
Carlo Barbaro
"As a busy freelance and session player i need to know my instruments are always in excellent condition and I don't have to worry about any annoying problems like a sticky valve that could hinder a performance or recording. If I have an important date and I need something worked on fast, I know I can trust Gabriel with any of my service or repair needs knowing he will do a great job every time - on time! Thank you Gabe for helping make my performances smooth and trouble free."
Shannon Marshall
info@shannonmarshall.com | www.shannonmarshall.com
The best funky mouthpiece in the Universe!!! Again, your work has blown me away!!! Thanks Gab!!
Geo Heatcote
Freelance Musician, Tutor
"I’ve never met Gabriel. I don’t know Gabriel. But word had reached us in the south that he was the man. I had a battered Link 8*, probably seventies vintage, that I had destroyed in thirty years of toxic engagement. I sent it to Gabriel with simple instructions; please restore and make it sound like it always did. To my ears, it had always sounded dark with a bright projection. I’m not even sure what that means. Gabriel returned the piece to me and it sounds just as I remember it. Looking forward to the next thirty years. I’ve already booked an appointment with Gabriel for November, 2046. Perhaps we might even meet."
James Valentine
ABC Radio Sydney, ABC TV - 'The Mix'