At the recent 2021 NAMM show I was fortunate to spend some (virtual) time with Melvin Quinones, founder of Victory Music Instruments based in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. He was kind enough to talk me through the Victory trumpet range and has also shared his fascinating story in this article:
I was born in Brooklyn NY but my parents moved to Puerto Rico when I was seven. At the age of twelve I started studying saxophone with the only intention to someday play in church. Three years after I started playing in local Christian music bands and quickly got recognition in Western Puerto Rico. At 18 I started working professionally with Wilkins, a popular pop artist in the 90’s and toured with him for 2 years. I also studied Music Education at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
In 1991 I joined the US Army as a quartermasters specialist, then transferred to an Army national guard band based in Puerto Rico where I played for 7 years. In the mid 90’s I was very attracted to computer recording, before there was even a Pro Tools interface. I started recording with Ensoniq Paris, and became very fluent in working with computers. This opened the doors for me to work with Microsoft where I then transitioned to a Full Time information technology career. During this time I also studied Quality Control engineering.
After nearly 10 years in IT I explored opportunities again in the music field, working as a producer for Univision reality show. In 2009 I used my technical knowledge to create a musicians social network called mymusictalk. It quickly gained popularity among musicians and this network had members in over 100 countries. During this time I was able to connect with thousands of musicians, suppliers, distributors, at the center of all. Having my own brand of musical instrument was always a dream that I never thought would be possible, but all of the experiences of the past provided me with enough knowledge about the industry, logistics and design of musical instruments based on actual feedback from the members of my network. Many of the top musicians that were a part of mymusictalk quickly endorsed my instruments and within only 3 years we have supporters and dealers in over 20 countries.
The first musical instrument created was called “The Growling Sax”. This instrument was designed with very high specifications but would easily cost about 30% lower than all of the top instruments it competed against. This first prototype was named the Origin Series, and it’s still our #1 selling saxophone. After designing 3 series of saxophones I started working on a trumpet prototype, with the guidance of Osvaldo Fleites, one of the most respected trumpeters in Latinamerica, known for his work with Gloria Estefan and Andrea Bocelli, just to name a few names. This prototype became the Revelation Series, a very appropriate name considering it’s a new brand that is quickly turning heads around. This is when the Victory brand was born.
The name Victory is only appropriate considering the process that led me to create this company. I won’t be talking about my struggles or sacrifices, but everything that I have accomplished has been through hard work, faith and perseverance. This is not a complaint, but on the contrary, every struggle and hardship led me to learn and develop skills and forge the character required to create a successful business.
During 2020 my company completed the development of student trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and clarinet. Also released a professional Revelation Series flugelhorn that sounds amazing and is getting really good reviews. Earlier this year we debuted with the Trumpet of Jesus, developed with Gerardo Rodriguez and it was an instant success. In the last 2 months, Victory trumpets have become the most wanted trumpet by musicians in Latinamerica, and we are gaining attention from Europe, Canada and USA. During our presentation at NAMM 2021, the Trumpet of Jesus won the Music Inc Magazine Editors Choice award for NAMM.
For 2021 we will focus on establishing partnerships with dealers around the world and make sure that everyone knows about our brand. We are still working on the logistics strategy, supplying for the different markets and countries. We slowly plan to develop new lines of wind instruments for band and orchestra.