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Kanstul in the News

Tama Marching Percussion Announces Partnership With Horn Maker Kanstul

Bensalem - Just as the dust was starting to settle on Tama's auspicious 2011 entry into the marching percussion market, the drum builder has unleashed another surprise: Tama Marching Percussion has announced it will join forces with the venerable marching brass company Kanstul Musical Instruments.

"We worked with numerous band directors during the development of our marching percussion line," says Tama USA product manager Charlie Hayashi. "They were the ones who first suggested that a partnership with a quality brass manufacturer would be helpful, in terms of the school bid process. We kept that in mind as the next step after launching."

The link to Kanstul was drum master Tom Float, who in collaboration with visionary Tama leader Ken Hoshino, developed Tama Marching Percussion's innovative drum products. Knowing both Kanstul and Hoshino, Float saw the strong potential in an introduction, based on their similarities. Both Ken Hoshino and Zig Kanstul had developed reputations for being as strong a guiding force on the shop floor as they are in the conference room.

Located in Anaheim, California, one mile east of Disneyland, Kanstul launched Kanstul Musical Instruments in 1981. Before that, his lifelong dedication to creating fine brass instruments had led him to the position of Vice President of Manufacturing for C.G. Conn, and previous to that as superintendent in charge of R&D for F.E. Olds.

Tama's Charlie Hayashi voices the company's excitement about the new relationship: "Our commitment to combining groundbreaking hardware with great sounding drums has made the marching percussion industry sit up and take notice. Our partnership with Kanstul will make our collective products an easy choice for band directors."

The drum company states its mission as: "Tama is applying its four decades of high-quality drum-making expertise to the marching drum market. We intend to serve marching percussion artists by solving the design problems left unaddressed by the status quo equipment makers. These solutions will maximize the drummer's comfort, safety, and performance, contributing to a richer performance experience."

The Passing Of An Industry Legend

Originally posted on TPIN by R. Dale Olson:

Possibly few of those who will read this knew Bill Cardwell, and perhaps an even smaller number have ever read and studied his landmark United States Patent #3,507,181, of April 21, 1970. Bill Cardwell was, in the opinion of the few who understood his work, one of the finest minds that ever addressed the issue of tapered sections of trumpets, and, as such, was the ultimate authority on trumpet design. Bill was the authority to whom other authorities turned for advice. As with many great men, the profundity of his work, underscored by a soft, gentle, humble personality, went largely unnoticed, often overshadowed by the exaggerated, and nearly universally unfounded, claims of "designers and gurus" whose mental acuity and technical expertise does not allow comprehension of the depth of Cardwell's concepts.

Professionally, Bill was employed by Chevron Research in La Habra, California for over 40 years in various technical capacities. His hobby of trumpet design was such that his home acoustics lab was larger and more professionally created and operated than those of any trumpet manufacturer. Quietly, and unnoticed by all but a few colleagues such as K.O. Skinsnes, Zig Kanstul, Cliff Blackburn, and some of the finest trumpet players in the world, Bill worked on the tapers of bells and leadpipes which would produce precisely the goal of "perfect" intonation, while controlling and manipulating the tonal quality. His work was epitomized in the 1970s by creation of four different trumpets, each possessing the same intonation pattern, but with tonal qualities covering most of the wide spectrum demonstrated by contemporary trumpets, cornets, and flugelhorns. Acoustically, each model possessed a different "cut-off" frequency, the point in the upper register where pronounced resonance peaks ceased to exist. One model was commercially produced as the Olds CHR and Reynolds ERA. Bill was also associated with Cliff Blackburn, not only in a consulting capacity, but as a close personal friend.

For many years, Bill and I would meet at the local IHOP restaurant in Fullerton, California, and discuss trumpet design and acoustics. Bill brought a stack of papers to discuss with me, and I had a pile to share with him. Our meetings would typically extend to four to six hours. On one memorable occasion, we met at 8:00 a.m. and remained until lunch, at which time Bill suggested we either leave to allow others to be seated, or order lunch. We ordered lunch, and continued to talk into the afternoon. Bill and I referred to our visits as the "IHOP International Conference on the Acoustics of The Trumpet". It was a very small "conference", as no one else was ever invited!

As the ITG Conference begins this week, it will do so without Bill and Betty Cardwell. For most of the Conferences prior to 2000, Bill and Betty were perennial fixtures. As this Conference starts, the double Cs will drown out the subtle memory of Bill Cardwell's life and work. It would be nice, but unexpected, if somehow, someone could officially recognize that we have just lost a giant.

I will never be able to walk into an IHOP without a tear in my eye.

R. Dale Olson

Kanstul Featured on ABC News Website
We were mentioned on ABC World News With Diane Sawyer, and featured on the ABC News website. A production assistant interviewed sales manager Charles Hargett by phone earlier this year.

Kanstul Tuba and Alligators?

Bill Mickelsen, tubist in the Florida Orchestra, is featured on the Discovery Channel program "Penn and Teller Tell a Lie" playing a Kanstul tuba for alligators! The show will be broadcast on Saturday, October 8th. Check it out!

Update! Here is the video from Youtube (segment starts at 7:17)

Kanstul Clinician R. Dale Olson Presents A Master Class At Rice University

R. Dale Olson will present a lecture, "The Trumpet of 2011 and Its Precursors: An Overview of Modern Trumpet Design", at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, on Monday 3 October 2011, at 12:00 noon.

The talk will be a Power Point presentation consisting of a survey of trumpet designs of the current era, with attention to historic precedents through United States Patents.

A synopsis of the works of 19th. Century designers, Gustave Besson, David James Blaikley, and Victor Charles Mahillon will be discussed as representing early scientific approaches to trumpet design. A period of empiricism following this era of science was epitomized by the works of Vincent Bach, Dominick Calicchio, Elden Benge, and Renold Schilke. A return to the scientific approach in the mid-20th. Century, as characterized by the works of Earle E. Kent, his associates, and William T. Cardwell, Jr. will be summarized.

Testing procedures, both apparatus and human, will be explained with emphasis on Sensory Evaluation testing employing human performers as subjects.

In Dale's words,

For many years, I have researched the concept of Cybernetics as it pertains to trumpet performance. The essential idea of cybernetics is that of a "feedback" system, and trumpet playing is an elegant example of this philosophical concept. At a very basic level, the "output" (i.e., the sound, pitch, intensity, etc. of a tone) directs the subsequent "input" (i.e., the way we play the note). If the note is too sharp, we instantaneously lower the pitch; if too loud, we immediately, and subconsciously reduce the intensity, etc. Cybernetics may explain a very wide range of phenomena, from home heating/cooling systems to political campaigns. However, to my awareness, no one has ever explained trumpet playing in such terms.

A close relation to this is biofeedback, an idea which periodically surfaces related to trumpet pedagogy. Various devices, such as a sound level meter, a chromatic stroboscope, certain mouthpiece and instrument designs, etc., may be integrated into a pedagogy which incorporates elements of cybernetics.

Marie Speziale, Professor of Trumpet, will host the presentation. Ms. Speziale, who succeeded Armando Ghittala as Professor of Trumpet at the prestigious Rice University, is the first woman to ever hold a position with a major symphony orchestra, and was with the Cincinnati Symphony for over 32 years. She has also performed with the Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, the Florida Symphony, and as Visiting Principal for the St. Louis Symphony. She has toured with DIVA (the women's jazz group), and was featured on the T.V. series, Star Trek: Voyager. Ms. Speziale currently performs with the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony and Houston Ballet Orchestras, and appears regularly as a clinician in Europe, Japan, and the United States.

Mr. Olson holds the B.M. degree from University of North Texas, the M.M. in Trumpet Performance from UNT, and M.A. in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. He served as Director of Research for the firm of F.E. Olds and Son, Inc., and has served as consultant in design to other major brass makers. Olson has lectured at five Conferences of the International Trumpet Guild, the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish International Festival of Trumpets, and many other conferences and universities. Olson's teachers were Everett James (Harry James' father), John J. Haynie, Renold Schilke, John Clyman, and Vladimir Drucker.

R. Dale Olson has been referred to as "one of the foremost authorities in the world in the fields of brass instrument design, performance and testing". He is the author of numerous articles related to the trumpet and the book, "Sensory Evaluation of Brass Musical Instruments".

There is no admission charge to the presentation and the public is invited. The lecture will be held in Room 1133, and will begin at 12:00 noon. Early arrival is suggested.

Parking is available on campus near the Shepherd School of Music.

John Van Houten Now Recording With Kanstul Tubas

Studio veteran John Van Houten has been using a Kanstul Model 80 F tuba for recording this week - primarily for the popular animated series' "Family Guy", "The Cleveland Show" and "American Dad".

John will also record the soundtrack to the upcoming feature film "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol" on the new Kanstul 5/4 "The Grand CC" tuba.

More to come!

Kanstul Factory Hosts TV Shoot

The Kanstul factory served as a backdrop for the taping of a television show. The as-yet-untitled pilot features funnyman Bob Wiltfong (Nationwide Insurance commercials, The Daily Show).

Cool Photo Blog of a Kanstul visit

"This place should be where the Most Interesting Man In The World hangs out... The real deal crafting of some of the best brass instruments in the world; at Kanstul Musical Instruments in Anaheim, California. Here're some incidental shots, and three of the people who make things run smoothly at the plant: My old drum corps buddy Duwayne Yee, craftsman of the highest order, Laura who makes sure objects depart and arrive in good order, and Charles Hargett who is the hood-ornament, contact, and resident smile... he'll sell you a horn or a new lead pipe or a Buick!"

View the gallery here:Mr. Groh's Blog

The Simpsons - Featuring Kanstul Trombones!

Alan Kaplan sent us this picture of himself and Bob Payne with their Kanstul trombones on a session for The Simpsons. Bob is playing his Model 1606 and Alan has his Model 1602.

Kanstul Factory Featured on Local Television News

The Kanstul factory was visited recently by local television station Channel 3 Garden Grove to do a feature.

Trombone Superstars at NAMM
One of the highlights of the Kanstul display at the recent NAMM show was a visit from top studio trombone player Alan Kaplan (left) and none other than Mr. Bass Trombone himself, George Roberts (right). Other visitors included top session, symphony and solo players from around the world.

Kanstul Contrabass Trombones Rule!
Our friend Alan Kaplan sent this terrific picture of three Kanstul contrabass trombones on the same session! In his words: "Here is a picture of the guys playing Kanstul Contras. It was Jan 13-16 @ Sony Studios for the movie "Alice in Wonderland", Composer Danny Elfman. The four contrabass players were Bruce Otto, Craig Gosnell, Phil Teele, and myself."

Kanstul Herald Trumpets Lead Rose Parade

The 121st Tournament of Roses was led this year by herald trumpets built by Kanstul Musical Instruments. Sponsored by NAMM - the International Music Products Association - the trumpet players kicked off the parade amid fanfares and fireworks, then rode atop the Theme float down Colorado Blvd.

The heralds posed for a picture with the very busy Grand Marshall Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger after leading the parade.

The opening ceremonies of the parade were designed by Texas-based Corporate Magic, and featured almost two hundred performers, dancers and, of course, the herald trumpets.

Kanstul Herald Trumpets Chosen to Lead Rose Parade

Kanstul herald trumpets will lead the 121st Annual Tournament of Roses Parade this year down Colorado Blvd on January 1st, after first taking part in opening ceremonies featuring a US Navy jet fly-over, pyrotechnics and the introduction of Grand Marshal Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. The herald trumpets will then board a special float which will carry them as they escort Captain Sullenberger along the parade route. The float - sponsored by NAMM, the International Music Products Association - will lead the parade down Pasadena's famed Colorado Blvd.

The theme of this year's parade will be "2010: A Cut Above The Rest", and according to Kanstul sales manager Charles Hargett, the choice to use Kanstul instruments "couldn't be more appropriate".

The instrument selected by organizers is Kanstul's Model 1100 Bb Melody Herald Trumpet, identical to those used by the US Army Band in Washington, DC.

The Rose Parade will be broadcast on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA, NBC, RFD-TV, Travel Channel and Univision. The parade is also seen in more than 200 international territories and countries.

Kanstul Builds Special Bugles for The Old Guard

The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment has commissioned Kanstul Musical Instruments to build a set of special single-valve bugles for the famed "Old Guard" Fife and Drum Corps.

Averaging about 2,000 performances annually, The Old Guard celebrates 50 years of service next year.

Kanstul Compensating Euphonium

The Model 975 Euphonium by Kanstul is the only compensating system euphonium built in the USA. Clients include Air Force Band soloist and principal MSgt. Will Jones, TSgt Kenneth L. Buchanan of the USAF Band of the Golden West, Glyn Williams of the famous Foden's Band, and the bands of the 40th ID, the 59th Army and the USAF Concert Band.

Here, Kanstul craftsman Troy Emmons and advisor Ken Berry are making adjustments to a special euphonium with removable bronze bell being built for Dr. Stephen Allen, Professor of Euphonium at Rutgers University. With the removable bell option, this euphonium is referred to as the Model 976, and is available with bronze, copper or red brass bell in addition to the standard yellow brass.

Kanstul Produces Miles Davis Mouthpiece for Sony / BMG

Kanstul Produces Miles Davis Mouthpiece for Sony / BMG - Kanstul Musical Instruments, producer of professional brasswinds and supplier to the industry has been contracted by Sony / BMG Music Entertainment to produce replicas of Miles Davis' mouthpiece to be included in a comprehensive retrospective of Miles' music under their Legacy Recordings label.

"We consider this a very special opportunity to help Sony showcase Miles' genius and his enormous contributions," said Charles Hargett, Sales Manager. "We're proud to be included."

The Miles Davis "Legacy" mouthpiece is produced exclusively for Sony and is an exact replica of Miles' own mouthpiece. Kanstul was chosen because of the attention to detail authenticity that Sony / BMG required, and that any tribute to Miles Davis deserves. These mouthpieces are from a limited run and not available anywhere except with this limited edition Miles Davis Box Set. Only 2,000 mouthpieces will be made.

UPDATE: TIME Magazine dated September 21st, 2009, shows the Miles Davis box set as a new release:

Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection

If this Miles Davis box set lands on your shelves this season, it will probably break them. The collection has everything Davis ever recorded for Columbia: 70 CDs' worth of material. (reprinted from TIME Magazine)

According to the article, it's available November 24th, only on Amazon. The price is $364.98

Herb Alpert to Tour Playing Kanstul Trumpet
One of the world's most beloved trumpet players, Herb Alpert, is touring with wife Lani Hall from September 2009 through January 2010. Along the way, they'll perform standards and favorites. Herb will be playing his "Gemini" trumpet, designed and built by Kanstul.

The New Model 1088 Bass Trumpet

The new MODEL 1088 bass trumpet from Kanstul Musical Instruments is a new professional-quality instrument for players in both jazz and symphonic ensembles. This new addition to the line features a .485" bore, brass body, nickel slide tubes, 7" diameter one-piece brass bell, Monel pistons, and removable mouthpipe. Designed by Zig Kanstul, the Model 1088 bass trumpet has been tested by first-call players in the Los Angeles area.

Kanstul's New Alan Kaplan Trombone!

Kanstul's newest trombone is here, and received great praise at the recent ITA Festival in Salt Lake City last month. This is the horn that LA Studio great Alan Kaplan has been performing and recording with - including this year's Grammys, and the Academy Awards. Specifications are: .500" bore lightweight hand slide, 7 1/2" diameter one piece light weight brass bell; three new interchangeable mouthpipes. We understand that Alan's old bell was originally designed by Matty Shiner for the great Tommy Dorsey. It was from this very bell that Zig Kanstul drew inspiration to produce his new 1602. The Kanstul Model 1602B-P offers superior playing characteristics and response that a working professional requires, and we think you'll appreciate this at any level of performance, whether you're a professional, college student or a hobbyist.

Richard Carson Steuart and R. Dale Olson ITG Conference Review

Although we were unable to attend he ITG Conference in Banff, Alberta, Kanstul Musical Instruments was proud to sponsor artist Richard Carson Steuart, and guest speaker R. Dale Olson. Here are reviews of their presentations, courtesy of Mark Boren, the International Trumpet Guild and www.trumpetguild.org

The theme communicated by Richard Carson Steuart (trumpet) and Daniel Bolshoy (guitar) at their trumpet and guitar recital this afternoon was "have fun making music." Both musicians demonstrated the importance of connecting with your audience through concert dialogue. Through their playful banter with the audience, they set the tone for the recital, put the audience at ease, and allowed everyone to bask in the high quality of their music making. Performing a selection of Latin works, the duo exhibited some of the finest music making at this conference. Bolshoy performed on amplified acoustic guitar allowing Steuart to play with a full dynamic spectrum on a variety of trumpets and mutes. Steuart played passionately in a vocal style and deftly navigated the lyrical and technical lines that were demanded throughout the repertoire they performed. Both musicians played with sensitivity placing musicality above all else.

R. Dale Olson's informative presentation on mutes explored the historical development of mute design and the scientific data he has collected over the years. The scientific data presented was a comparative analysis of the muted trumpet vs. the open trumpet. Different mutes were used to show the variances between mute designs and to set up the rest of the discussion on design elements and experimentation. Olson outlined eight variables in his discussion that players can use in their own experimentation: materials of construction, shape, size, outside diameter of the small end, inside diameter of the small end, corking, cylindrical tubes inside mute, and venting (creating holes in the mute to let the air/sound escape). The presentation included many fascinating historical drawings of mute designs from his U.S. patent research including a picture of the first trumpet mute ever patented in the U.S. in 1865.

Kanstul sponsors Richard Carson Steuart at this year's ITG Conference

Due to a scheduling conflict Kanstul will not be appearing at this year's ITG Conference. However, we are pleased to be sponsoring Richard Carson Steuart as a performer on Wednesday, June 4th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in the Rolston Recital Hall.

Richard Steuart is one of the finest players we've heard and we think you'll agree. His unique program is entitled Spanish Blue. Richard's website is www.latrombamusic.com

Kanstul Sponsors R. Dale Olson at ITG Conference

Due to a scheduling conflict Kanstul will not be appearing at this year's ITG Conference. However, we are pleased to be sponsoring R. Dale Olson as a speaker. Dale's presentation will take place Thursday, June 5, 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Max Bell Auditorium. A press release is below:


Interest in trumpet mutes has increased dramatically over the past two decades, as has the number of commercially available products. Yet, the technical/mechanical differences between mutes, and the changes in performance characteristics these modifications create, remain unknown to many players.

In this lecture, R. Dale Olson will present findings of research involving the basic variables of mute design such as materials of construction, resonances, weight, size, shape, fit, aperture, and induced leakage, with demonstrations of these variables through the use of experimental mutes. Olson's research into mute design began in 1967. He presented his first formal lecture on the subject in 1969 at the National Trumpet Symposium at the University of Denver.

Suggestions will be offered to musicians concerning experimental alterations to their own mutes, and changes in musical characteristics they may expect from these modifications.

R. Dale Olson has actively studied trumpet and mute design for over 40 years and is considered an international authority in the field. He holds patents on trumpet and mute designs and has conducted thousands of acoustical, and player, tests on hundreds of different mutes.

Kanstul Attends ITA Festival in Salt Lake City

Kanstul will be displaying an assortment of trombones at the ITA Festival in Salt Lake City at the end of this month. On hand to answer questions will be Charles Hargett, Sales & Marketing Manager; and Duwayne Yee, Kanstul craftsman and slide maker. We are pleased to announce that LA studio player Alan Kaplan will be there too, demonstrating his new Model 1602 Tenor Trombone! Details on this exciting new trombone to come!

Kanstul Musical Instruments is the choice of The United States Army Band
Kanstul Musical Instruments is the choice of The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" Herald Trumpets. This elite fanfare unit represents the pinnacle of American pageantry and performance. The Army Herald Trumpets have performed for presidents, prime ministers and royalty, in addition to ceremonial fanfares for Superbowl XXXIX, the Olympic Games and for the United Nations. These unique fanfare trumpets are made right here in our Anaheim, California factory, and are available in five models: the Eb Soprano, Bb Melody, Bb Tenor, G Bass (three valves) and Bb Bass (four valves). Kanstul Musical Instruments has also supplied instruments to the Canadian Forces, including the Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific Fanfare Trumpets. Additional fanfare trumpets made by Kanstul have been presented to the King of Malaysia at his ascension to the throne last year; and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honor of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

We hope you were able to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition last Sunday night, February 17th on ABC. This episode featured a young man named Patrick Henry Hughes, who is a student at the University of Louisville, and his family. Patrick is disabled but that doesn't stop him from getting top grades and participating in the marching band. He also plays piano, trumpet, and sings. The entire Hughes Family is an inspiration for their love and support.

Here at Kanstul Musical Instruments, we first became aware of Patrick from features we saw on ESPN and on the Oprah Show. So when the producers of Extreme Makeover Home Edition approached us about participating in the show on behalf of the Hughes family, we were very excited to do so.

In a pre-production interview, the producers asked Patrick Henry about his wishes and dreams. One of the things he mentioned was that he wanted a trumpet like his teacher's, Dr. Mike Tunnell. The producers contacted Dr. Tunnell who informed them that he plays on a Kanstul Signature with the copper bell (better known as the Kanstul Model 1500). They asked us whether we would provide such a trumpet, and we agreed.

Near the end (before they revealed the renovated home) the producers presented a trumpet to Patrick as the newly-renovated practice field at the Univ. of Louisville was revealed.

On the broadcast, host Ty Pennington presented Patrick with the Kanstul trumpet during the "reveal" of the marching band's newly-renovated practice field. Patrick played the school fight song on camera. On many levels, it was very inspiring, very emotionally uplifting.

Patrick said of his new Kanstul Model 1500: "The valves are wonderful" and added that "it produces a better tone" than his old trumpet. Ty Pennington described it as "an incredible trumpet".

The Kanstul name was not mentioned, unfortunately. Sears, CVS - and in this episode Gibson - all donated products valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Their names and / or products that received mention is all part of their agreement with the producers of the show (known as "promotional consideration"). However, we at Kanstul are pleased that the name was visible on the case and that a distinctive-looking trumpet such as our Model 1500 - with the copper bell and nickel highlights - got so much camera time.