“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm

“The Craftsmen’s Bench is an breakthrough interview series featuringRath Yorkshire-9488bleached_pp instrumental craftsmen and especially those who have played an instrument. From the finest instrument makers, to craftsmen who specialize in repairs, peer into the world from another vantage point of another expertise. Instrument manufacturers lead the list, from Jay Armstrong, the man who sought to re-create the magical trombones of legendary genius Earl Williams, to vintage Bach expert Eric Swanson. A modern triptych of the fast rising challengers to Conn-Selmer includes visits will Steven Shires, Mick Rath and Christan Griego of Edwards. Enjoy the first few interviews while we search for more interesting stories from “The Craftsmen’s Bench”.

Cropped EW Stamp

Cropped EW Stamp

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 1, Jay Armstrong

Jay Armstrong is a kind and generous gentleman who performed on an Earl Williams 9 as the Principal Trombonist for the Nashville Symphony. A student of Emory Remington while at Eastman, Jay entered into the Williams Legacy and expanded it by re-tooling and moving the production to Donelson, TN. Earl Williams’ custom trombones are legendary, and have retained their exalted status even amid the rich new tradition of modern custom trombone craftsmen-many of whom still admire and imitate them. Read more…

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 2 with The Slide Doctor

“THE CRAFTSMAN’S BENCH” TM presents John Upchurch: The Slide Dr. Comes Clean!
The legendary Slide Doctor, John Upchurch, has consented to respond to a wide-ranging field of questions. Who better to launch a promising series on the trombone from an of- neglected vantage point of the craftsman? Read more…

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 3 featuring Eric Swanson

Photo Courtesy E. Swanson

Photo Courtesy E. Swanson

Eric Swanson has been a prominent orchestral, commercial and recording bass trombonist in the Dallas Ft. Worth area for more than 30 years. He has performed as the bass trombonist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra for more than twenty of those years, and his numerous performance credits include names like Sinatra, Woody Herman and Ella Fitzgerald. Along the way, Eric discovered and fostered a talent in instrument repair and has gained an excellent reputation. Mr. Swanson is in the enviable position of having owned and played some of the finest bass trombones ever produced, and is the developer of a superb ‘solotone’ mute for bass trombone. We are honored to have Eric Swanson join us for the second installment of The Craftsmen’s Bench. Read more…

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 4 with Steven Shires

Any serious discussion of the great trombone makers includes Steven Shires. His horns have been highly prized since his work as a key figure in the early success of Edwards through to the current models of The S. E. Shires Company. (Recently, a young bass trombonist became excited at the prospect that his early Yamaha bass trombone bell may have been spun by Shires at Schilke.) Beyond his excellent horns is Shire’s reputation for treating people right. imagesInvariably, visitors to his shop are treated well and warmed by the experience of seeing a highly professional operation committed to excellence. Mr. Shires has generously given of his time and expertise to respond to our queries, and we are delighted to offer a glimpse inside the mind and factory of Steve Shires as our fourth installment of “The Craftsmen’s Bench”tm. Read more…

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 5 and Mick Rath

Edwards was the first to break through the Conn-Selmer trombone hegemony onRath Yorkshire-9638 a grand scale. Backed by Allied, their influence slowly spread to it’s current prominence. From Edwards (and Schilke), there emerged a second serious rival, who had built his reputation over several decades, the last two bringing trombones that bear his name-Shires. Others have made significant strides as well, but perhaps the third major contender to emerge is the most remarkable. The wide-spread use and notoriety of Rath trombones over the past ten years has been meteoric. In terms of tradition, Rath has not drawn upon the most vibrant trombone manufacturing traditions of the Americans, German and French, but has sprung from those of the… rather modest British tradition as well as from his time with Paxman. The proliferation or Rath horns amongst jazz players in particular is impressive and his use of design and materials is inspired. davidbrubeck.com is pleased to present British Trombone Maker Michael (Mick) Rath as the fourth installment of The Craftsmen’s Bench tm.
Read more…

“The Craftsmen’s Bench” tm No. 6 featuring Christan Griego

christanEdwards trombones have a reputation for excellence and quality. Though a relatively new brand, they have garnered support from the trombone community which has both depth and breadth. davidbrubeck.com is delighted to host Christan Griego of Edwards in the latest installment of “The Craftsman’s Bench” tm. Read more…

The Craftsmen’s Bench No. 7 R. Dale Olson

strong>R. Dale Olson has been at the forefront of trumpet design and brass manufacturing for more than half a century. From innovative designs, intriguing associates, in-depth expertise, and a list of musical artists comprising an array of virtuosity-both musical and technical, R. Dale Olson takes us on a historical tour of designs and polymers that is, well, breathtaking… No. 7 of “The Craftsmen’s Bench” TM is resonant with the good vibrations of R. Dale Olson, enjoy!

University of Edinburgh Dr. Arnold Myers with R. Dale Olson

University of Edinburgh
Dr. Arnold Myers with R. Dale Olson

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