Trombone

Artist Feature: Michael Davis & Hip-Bone Music

Greetings fellow brassoholics and lovers of the great S.E. Shires company!

So happy and proud to announce the release of my 11th album as a solo artist, Hip-Bone Big Band! The project features a dream team line-up of musicians playing ten of my original compositions and two arrangements I did on a couple t’bone classics: 76 Trombones and Sentimental Over You. I hand picked my favorite jazz trombonists to help out with the solo work including Marshall Gilkes, Conrad Herwig, Michael Dease, Bob McChesney, Andy Martin and Bill Reichenbach. Considering I’m fortunate enough to play the finest small bore tenor trombone ever made, I couldn’t resist playing a few of the solo spots myself.

The ensemble is rounded out by a who’s who of the New York jazz scene including Vanguard Jazz Orchestra veterans Dick Oatts on lead alto, Nick Marchione on lead trumpet and Scott Wendholt handling the jazz trumpet chores. Steely Dan bari-man Roger Rosenberg and Paul Simon tenor-man Andy Snitzer come along for the ride while our big band bus was expertly driven by the Yellowjacket’s virtuosic drummer Will Kennedy. I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have all these brilliant musicians record this music.

This is the second album I’ve been privileged to record on my Shires MD and MD+ model trombones. Last year, I recorded my Bone Alone CD in which I layered all the parts myself starting with duets all the way up to tentets. To say these are the best trombones I’ve ever played is an understatement. I only wish I had them for all my previous solo efforts! One thing I can say for sure is, they will be with me on every project I do for the remainder of time.

Come check out the Hip-Bone Big Band CD at Hip-Bone Music and, while you’re there, check out our acclaimed bone2pick interview series, our Hip-Bone U online/video lessons, and all of our books for every level of brass player. Lots of cool projects on the horizon so stay tuned. Long live the Hip-Bone Big Band and S.E. Shires!

-Michael Davis

p.s. You're all invited to check out our CD Release Concert on December 4th, 2016 at SubCulture in New York City's East Village.  Stay tuned for more details, we'd love to see you there!

Announcing: The S.E. Shires Q Series!

Extra Extra, read all about it!  S.E. Shires is adding a new line of instruments to the family!  

“We understand not every musician may be ready for a Shires custom instrument or may find those costs prohibitive, so the development of the Q Series with Eastman allows the best aspects of our custom instruments to be at a very affordable price; certainly worthy of the Shires name.” - Steve Shires

When you purchase a Q Series instrument you join the S. E. Shires family, a family that includes some of the finest professional musicians in the world.  The Q Series line of instruments represent the philosophy of Eastman to produce the finest musical instruments at every price point and embody the reputation of Shires: to produce the highest quality hand crafted instruments for every player.

How do we do it?  It's international commerce at its finest.  S.E. Shires fabricates the Q parts in Hopedale, Massachusetts, USA, then ships the parts to the Eastman factory in China where they are assembled, and then the instrument is sent back to Shires.  The final finishes, quality checks and play-tests are  then done in Hopedale before shipping to dealers.  And that's how you get a custom quality trombone/trumpet at a moderate price!

And the best part?  Q Series Instruments are compatible with S.E. Shires Custom Instruments!  So that means that you can purchase a Q Series trombone and purchase additional Shires Custom components over time if you would like to upgrade or change your specifications!

The Q Series instruments are set for a Fall 2016 release and will be available at S.E. Shires Authorized Q Series Dealers.

Q Series Model Tenor and Bass Trombone

  • Large-Bore Tenor Trombones – TBQ30YR, TBQ30GR, TBQ30YA, TBQ30GA
  • F/Gb Rotary Valve Bass Trombone – TBQ36YR and TBQ36GR

The Q Series Model Tenor Trombone is available with the following options:

  • Choice of Valve
    • Rotary Valve - fast response, short lever throw, lighter weight
    • Axial Valve - free blowing with an even feel between Bb and F
  • Choice of Bell
    • The yellow brass bell offers the best projection and stability.  Its tone is similar at all dynamic levels.
    • The gold brass bell has a warmer, broader tone, with more malleability.

The Q Series Model Bass Trombone features your choice of yellow or gold brass bell with a rotary valve.

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Dealer Spotlight: Jamey Van Zandt, Music and Arts

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"S.E. Shires instruments are ideal for who? Everyone!"

I am currently working on my DMA in Trombone Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. While finishing my doctorate I have the privilege of working part-time at Music & Arts in Austin, Texas.

In the past year Music & Arts has been incredibly fortunate to begin stocking several models of S.E. Shires trumpets and trombones in our store in South Austin.. and wow the word is out! I frequently get inquiries from fellow musicians and colleagues from around the country and also from Europe!

Music & Arts serves the musical needs of all level of players; ranging from young musicians in school band programs all the way to career professionals seeking the finest of handmade instruments. But the majority of the store’s customer base is school age musicians and their families.

So do I only speak about S.E. Shires instruments to professionals? Heck no!

While the sublime character of our Shires instruments may not yet be appropriate for most school-age musicians, these young players always have one placed carefully in their hands! What fun it is to see their expressions transform when the Shires' trademark engraving catches their widening eyes!  I say, “Practice everyday, prove to yourself, and to mom and dad that you love music and love playing your instrument, then come see me when you’re ready!"

So yes! Everyone! Everyone is the ideal person for our S.E. Shires Instruments!

I am so grateful to be able to work closely with the Shires team in Boston and with my Eastman reps locally—always so amazing and helpful! The people at S.E. Shires are truly looking out for you! The company's logo "quality without compromise" is more than a slogan; it is truth.

-Jamey Van Zandt

Music and Arts-Austin, TX

Craftsman's Corner: Paul Chadbourne

Have you ever wondered how some of our amazing craftsmen get started with instrument building at Shires?  Paul Chadbourne works in the trombone valve finaling department, a job that requires precision, patience, and perfection. 

"I started in this field of making instruments by apprenticing doing brass instrument repair at Rick's Musical Instruments in Cumberland, RI. When the apprenticeship was up I then began to do repair on the side for fellow classmates while I attended Rhode Island College to get my Music Performance degree on tuba. A year later I decided to reach out to S. E. Shires to see if they had any openings or if I could shadow anyone to learn more about repair. 

They got back reasonably quickly and offered me a part time job since I was still in school working in the buffing room. From there I then began to bounce around a lot from job to job doing everything to making trumpet pistons and  bells to building hand slides and trombone valve sections. Three years later I now am the main valve pre-fitter and also do valve section and handslide final assembly. 

Some cool projects I have been apart of building was 2 alto hand slides for Colin Williams of the New York Philharmonic and two single valve bass trombones for George Curran also of the New York Philharmonic."   

Keep up the great work Paul! Trombonists all over the world are depending on you! 

A new year, a new blog!

Our S.E. Shires blog features articles and photos on the craft of making handmade trumpets and trombones.  If you are curious about the process, this is the place to go!  We will discuss methods, materials, options, design, and many more topics.  We'll also answer your questions and encourage you to join in the discussion! 

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