Derek Newberry

Rising Ventures: Hering Instruments Sets the Soundtrack for a Sustainable Future

The word “cool” has many connotations and it seems to be one of those colloquialisms that exists in every culture – “chido” (spelling?) if you’re passing through Mexico, Brazilians use a variety of expressions; “legal” and “ma?a” are two common equivalents. The meaning or definition changes drastically from place to place as well; I remember when I was traveling around Brazil and the popular theme song to the number one novela at the time was written by Michael Bolton.

Michael Bolton was thus in many ways at the height of cool if you happened to be in Goinia in 2001. I doubt Mr. Bolton would have ever gotten the same treatment in the US. Despite the cultural rift over songs like “Can I Touch You…There?” I did find in Brazil that sometimes cool is universal, and I’m not talking about Coca-Cola commercials. Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil embodies this concept in every language everywhere – there is a reason that the man who helped turn his nation’s musical sensibilities upside down with the advent of Tropicalia is now the country’s cultural ambassador. So when you see this icon of “legal” holding up a sustainably made, FSC-certified guitar, you have a feeling that a genuine trend has just taken off.And then there’s Alberto Bertolazzi. The CEO of Hering Instruments has been running a business specializing in world-class harmonica manufacturing that is now expanding its line of products to include environmentally responsible guitars and basses. Alberto is a visionary to be sure, but he also has a keen intuition that knows when the music industry is ripe for change and knows how to follow through. Alberto has watched hybrid cars move out of their eco-geek phase and become a mainstream phenomenon. He watches the world’s largest companies going green and wonders why his competitors haven’t caught on.

Alberto is pictured in the above photo, looking on just behind Gilberto Gil in much the same way as he is just behind the scenes expanding his business by doing good and greening an entire sector. In essence, he is making the sustainable guitar universally “cool”.

Watch in the coming years and see if this trend takes off. You never know what cultural icons will take hold, but with the amount of dedication Alberto pours into his work (combined with a genuine love for music), I wouldn’t put it far past him to have that big of an impact. Read the full profile of Hering instruments here.