Kexun Ge, the founder and Managing Director of K.GE REEDS, started his reed making business by himself, to support himself as an oboe student in London and later in Brisbane, Australia. He received great support and encouragement for his reed making from his oboe teacher, Anthony Camden.
Kexun’s business increased significantly in size when Kexun found a reliable source of quality cane in China and he soon opened a workshop in Shanghai to help him make his oboe reeds in the kinds of numbers that the market was demanding.
The business has now extended to include oboe and bassoon cane and bassoon reeds, as well as the manufacture of many of the tools associated with reed making. The most significant of these tools being the oboe reed profiler, designed by Kexun Ge himself.
A very significant addition to our growing list of products, is the K.GE (Australian designed) range of oboes, from student model synthetic body oboes to professional model oboes made from grenadilla wood.
The K.GE Oboe was developed originally from a design by Tony Ward, (originally from "Boosey & Hawkes" and "Ward & Winterbourne") and now the oboe is made 100% at our workshop in Shanghai by experienced workers for the last 15 years. We have been slowly developing aspects of the design along the way and now the oboe can be said to be truly a K.GE oboe, with a new shaped bell and new key work recently being developed.
In approaching this project of developing our oboe, we have kept in mind the needs of professional oboe players, and we have used our own personal experience of exactly what musicians expect from their instruments. Our highly trained and motivated workforce in the Shanghai workshop enables us to offer this high quality instrument at a very competitive price.
Another important product of K.GE Reeds is cane. To produce reeds of consistently high quality, a good and reliable source of cane is essential. As a reed maker, it was vital to secure a reliable and high quality source of cane, which is precisely what Ke-xun has done. The cane used for Ke-xun's reeds comes from Anhui Province in China, which has been a famous cane-producing region since about 1960, supplying cane for local oboists, clarinettists and bassoonists. Ke-xun discovered that the climate of Anhui is very similar to that of the cane-producing Var region in France, and he also discovered that the cane from Anhui had much greater resilience and a higher fibre density than other canes, including the French cane. The cane from Anhui is generally of medium to medium hardness, while its texture is silky, fine and smooth, and its colour is yellow to golden brown. Above all, for a reed maker, the most important quality the cane possesses, is its consistency.
At K.GE REEDS, we only use wild cane that is picked by workers trained and employed exclusively by us. This cane undergoes a rigorous process of selection by our trained staff, and as a result we can assure our customers a very high usage rate. As an oboe reed maker, as well as a bassoon reed maker, Ke-xun has experimented with many different varieties of cane, and has come to the conclusion that the cane from Anhui is the best he has ever used. All of our reeds have been made with this cane for a long time now, and subsequently, the K.Ge brand has risen to be arguably the most respected and well-known brand in reed making in the world. Additionally, since making this tube cane available to our customers, it has rapidly grown in popularity internationally amongst many more oboe players, including professionals as well as oboe students.
Unlike other "profile" machines previously designed and sold by other makers, this machine completes the reed to a fully finished and playable state. It is really not necessary for the player to adjust the reed using a reed knife, as this machine has a variety of ways in which the reed can be adjusted to allow for the slight variations in cane density and opening of the reed, which both affect how hard a reed feels to blow. We believe that this machine is a revolutionary device, that will make the onerous task of reed making a much less time consuming one, and more importantly, a more predictable and profitable process. Thanks to the computer designed and generated template, the oboist will be confident that they are making perfectly balanced reeds time after time.