Kanstul Artists, Clinicians and Consultants
R. Dale Olson
R. Dale Olson has been called, “One of the foremost authorities in the world on trumpet design, performance, and testing.” He has also been referred to as “One of the most eloquent speakers and writers in the trumpet world.” These accolades have been earned through a long and varied career as a professional performer, researcher, lecturer, and writer.
Olson holds the B.M. degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas, and was awarded the first Masters in Trumpet Performance awarded by the same institution. He also holds the M.A. degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. In 2007, the University of North Texas bestowed upon Olson its highest award, Distinguished Alumnus. Trumpet teachers included Everett James (father of Harry James), John J. Haynie of UNT, Renold Schilke, John Clyman of MGM Studios, and Vladimir Drucker.
Olson’s writings are voluminous, establishing him as one of the most prolific writers in the history of trumpet performance. Among his published titles is Sensory Evaluation of Brass Musical Instruments. Copies of his works will eventually be placed in selected libraries in the United States for the benefit of other scholars. Olson’s literary output includes in excess of 10 book length works, and dozens of research papers and articles.
He has also authored the recently released Zig Kanstul: The Last of the Great Masters. The book begins with a detailed, illustrated exploration of the history of brassmaking in the U.S., dating back to the early 19th century, and then documents Zig’s personal biography as it relates to brass instrument design and production during the last half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Zig’s apprenticeship under Foster Reynolds, his R&D and production management of F.E. Olds & Son, and his roles with the Benge Company and C.G. Conn are explored with the level of detail that only someone who was there through it all could accomplish. The book lays out how the founding and continuing management of Kanstul Musical Instruments has been the culmination of one of the truly remarkable careers in the history of contemporary brass instrument design and production.
Olson lives in Fullerton, California and on Galveston Island, Texas.
Richard Carson Steuart
Richard Carson Steuart was born in Canada in 1956 and received his first instruction on the Cornet at the age of nine from his father Kenneth Leslie Steuart. He first performed on television at the age of ten, performing the cornet solos of the virtuoso Herbert Lincoln Clarke and won his first national competition on the trumpet playing the Hummel Concerto at age eleven.
Richard’s orchestral experience has included full-time positions as First Solo-Trumpeter of the Canadian Chamber Orchestra (starting 1976), the German Opera on the Rhein, Düsseldorf (1978-79) and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestras (1979-1984). In 1983, at the suggestion of the Bavarian Ministry of Culture, the City of Würzburg created a Special Teaching Assignment for Richard as Artist in Residence at their Conservatory of Music, both teaching the modern and historical trumpet and leading various ensembles from baroque to big-band and jazz, as well giving instruction in contemporary “Neue Musik.” He was a founder member of the German Brass and Munich Brass, and is the head of the European Brass Academy, the European Baroque Soloists, as well as the German Chamber Soloists.
Richard’s solo album “Spanish Blue” features marvelous performances by him on Kanstul instruments ranging from Bb trumpet to piccolo, Eb trumpet and flugelhorn. Richard Steuart consulted with Kanstul on many instruments, including the Model 1520 Bb/A/G piccolo trumpet, as well as the Model 1505 Bb and Model 1506 C rotary trumpets, which were built for him.
New York-based trumpeter Wallace Roney has earned his status amongst the jazz elite, playing alongside some of the genre’s greatest artists, such as Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and of course his mentor, Miles Davis.
His trumpet of choice has been the legendary Martin Committee given to him by Miles. Wallace says that he plays the Martin not just due to Miles’s influence but because he’s “tried every trumpet out there,” putting them through the tests of scales, arpeggios, evenness, articulation, and most important—sound—and he found the Martin Committee the best.
When Wallace tried the Kanstul Model 1603—a recreation of the original Martin Committee—he felt that it so perfectly captured the qualities of the original that he asked us to build one for him, with a few custom features, such as a larger, specially annealed bell and bell wire, a hand-drawn, tapered tuning slide, all-reverse slides, and custom Roney-designed slide triggers. He has been playing this horn on gigs in the US and Europe, to great reviews—both from audiences and from Wallace himself.
We now offer this version of the Model 1603 as special edition, called the 1603+ Wallace Roney Model.
Tim comes from a family of working musicians, and he’s been playing professionally since he was 15 years old. Educated at Cincinnati Conservatory and Morehead State University, followed by seven years in the USAF Bands. Tim’s road experience includes national tours with John Tesh, Michael Crawford, the Dallas Brass, Brian Setzer & Ricky Fante.
A highly versatile musician, other credits include many southern California regional symphony orchestras; Buddy Childers, Bill Holman, Jack Sheldon, Gerald Wilson, Mike Longo, Buddy Collette big bands, and Elvis Schoenberg’s “Orchestra Surreal.” In front of the camera, Tim served ten years as Principal / Lead / Featured Solo Trumpet on the “Hour of Power” internationally-broadcast TV show and was a background musician in “The Flintstones – Viva Rock Vegas,” “Red Dragon,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” and “The West Wing.” Other national TV appearances include Leno, Ellen, Conan O’Brien, Wayne Brady, Soul Train, etc. After relocating to the NYC area in 2005, Tim quickly became highly in demand in Broadway pits (Chicago, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Spamalot, Hot Feet, Gypsy, Martin Short – Fame Becomes Me, Phantom of the Opera, etc), and performs regularly with Aretha Franklin, Bernadette Peters, Joe Piscopo, Don Rickles and many others. Adjunct Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College.
His “arsenal” (as he likes to call it) includes trumpets, cornets and flugels, all made by Kanstul. The Kanstul 1601 was conceived by and made for Tim.
Byron Autrey taught trumpet at Michigan State University for almost 40 years, and has studied the craft of trumpet design for decades. A long time symphonic player, Byron was Elden Benge’s first salesman and clinician, and has since consulted for some of the top names in the brass world. The mathematical approach he takes in understanding the flow of air and the vibration of the mouthpiece led him on, in his words, “many capers”.
Byron’s expertise has been invaluable to Kanstul for many years. Zig has referred to him as “the finest in the world for mating a mouthpipe to a horn to make it play its best.” Our Signature Piccolo and Eb trumpets, the Chicago series and Alto Horn have all received Byron’s personal attention. He has helped us develop and perfect other designs for special projects involving major performing artists and world-renown musical organizations. Byron’s touches have allowed Kanstul to provide players with some of the finest playing brass instruments available.
In the world of cornets, Steve Charpie is a noted expert and historian. He is a frequent speaker and consultant on 19th century brass bands, and has an impressive collection of old instruments. A freelance player in the southern California area, he has performed at the famous Crystal Cathedral and at Disneyland. Charpie also leads The New Custer Band.
Claudio Roditi was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1946 and began his musical studies when he was just five years old. He soon became interested in jazz and after his appearance in the International Jazz Competition in Vienna in 1966, he moved to Mexico City becoming active on the contemporary music scene.
In 1970 he moved again to Boston and studied at Berklee College of Music, later joining the faculty of the School of Contemporary Music. It was in 1976 that he moved to New York where he still resides. Roditi has performed / recorded with such stars as Joe Henderson, Charlie Rouse, Herbie mann, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera and McCoy Tyner among others. He was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘United Nation Orchestra’ in as well as the ‘Jazz Masters’ led by Slide Hampton.
By the age of nineteen Alan Kaplan was on the road with Buddy Rich, and later played with the bands of Harry James, Louis Bellson, Don Ellis and Lionel Hampton. His recording credits range from Marvin Gaye, Johnny Mathis, Madonna, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughan and Whitney Houston to Oingo Boingo and countless more. Kaplan’s TV credits include such shows as Hawaii 5-0, Dynasty, Star Trek, and hundreds of others. He has been the featured trombone soloist on more than 1000 cartoons and television shows and was a regular member of the staff bands on the Merv Griffin, Joan Rivers, and Star Search Shows. In 1994 and again in 2000, Kaplan performed and recorded with Barbra Streisand on her concert tour.
Alan Has been a regular member of the orchestra for the Academy Awards for the last five years and has also worked frequently on the Grammy’s, The SAG Awards and The Jerry Lewis Telethon. His movie credits are perhaps most impressive of all, a list of some 800 plus films. Alan Kaplan enjoys his position as one of the top studio trombone players in Los Angeles, and now uses his Model 1602-B for most of his work.
Les Benedict is a versatile musician who performs on alto, tenor and bass trombones, euphonium and tuba, and sundry other brass instruments. He recorded with Clare Fischer’s “Jazz Corps”, Bette Midler’s CD Bathhouse Betty, Herbie Hancock’s soundtrack to A Soldier’s Story, Gerald Wilson’s Grammy-nominated Suite for Monterey. He has performed with the Honolulu Symphony and the Honolulu Opera Orchestra and Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band, and played on the soundtracks of Glory and The Hunt for Red October. He has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, and Quincy Jones. Les Benedict is an active private instructor and has conducted numerous clinics and master classes nationwide. The L. A. Jazz Scene wrote that Les is “…a very gifted trombonist who can play in many different styles.”
George Roberts is one of the most beloved personalities in the music world. The man whose sound we so easily recognize in movies, records and television is also the man who virtually single-handedly “wrote the book” on playing the commercial bass trombone, bringing it from its last, low trombone status to the forefront as a solo instrument. Known as “Mr. Bass Trombone”, George Roberts has played in and around the studio scene in Los Angeles for over fifty years. At the same time he has devoted his efforts to clinics, concerts and soloing with symphonic orchestras and trombone choirs across the country.
His first major big band gigs were with Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton. In 1953, he stayed in LA rather than go on a European tour with Kenton. There he met Nelson Riddle and began his recording career, which included sessions with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughn, and Nat King Cole. These sessions with leading vocalists led him to develop his lyrical trombone style. Roberts has also recorded with Henry Mancini, Ralph Carmichael, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Frank DeVol, Tommy Johnson, Uan Rasey and Chet Baker. As a Hollywood studio musician, Roberts has recorded hundreds of film scores, including Jaws, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, has served on the staff orchestras of the major radio and television networks, and the Academy Awards. Some of George’s many recordings include the classic “Meet Mr. Roberts” and “The Joy Of Living”.
In 1980, George founded the Bones West Trombone Choir. George Roberts worked closely with Kanstul to develop the Model 1670 bass trombone.
Massimo Pirone is a masterful trombonist. An accomplished studio player, he has performed and recorded with Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Slide Hampton, Astrud Gilberto, Chaka Khan, Mike Stern, Patti Austin, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Al Grey, Alicia Keyes and many more. He is featured on many motion picture soundtracks, including Casualties of War, Bugsy, Disclosure, La Vita é Bella, and In The Line Of Fire; and has worked for such composers as Ennio Morricone, Louis Bacaloff and Nicola Piovani. Based in Rome, Italy, Massimo has recorded and performed with Roberto gatto, Rosario Giuliani, Enrico Pierannunzi, Flavio Boltro, Fabrizio Bosso, Enrico Rava, Gabriele Mirabassi, Danilo Rea and many more. Massimo Pirone also works extensively in television and theater, with many credits to his name. His solo album is entitled Trombone Portrait, which has received critical acclaim.
Massimo performs and records on the Model 1662 Bass Trombone, and the Model 1606 Tenor Tenor Trombone. In Massimo’s own words, “At last I have found the horns of my life!”
After a brief stint with the Kenton band at the age of eighteen, Mike Suter went on to attend Western Michigan University. After graduating, Mike moved to Detroit where he worked the various studios – Motown among them – and recorded with groups such as Parliament/Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations, and worked for Ella Fitzgerald, Vic Damone, Mel Torme, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck, Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. I stayed until 1976. Suter then returned to the Kenton band, and also played with the bands of Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, and a week with Maynard Ferguson as a sub. Mike also traveled with Beatlemania and Ballet West. In addition to performing in his own groups The National Slide Quartet and Slidewerke, he is also a regular with The Stan Kenton Alumni Band led by Mike Vax, playing Kanstul bass trombone and tuba.
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammys) “Most Valuable Player Award” nominee Loren Marsteller served in “The President”s Own” United States Marine Corps Band in Washington, D.C. and then moved to Calgary to become principal trombone with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently adjunct professor of trombone and euphonium at California State University, Long Beach. Loren plays the Model 975 Compensating Euphonium with a red brass bell.
An accomplished player with a great understanding of instrument acoustics, Ken Berry has worked with us on many projects regarding middle-brass design.
Robert Carpenter has been the Principal Tubist in the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (OPO) since its inception in 1993.
In 1988, he received two bachelor degrees from Northwestern University – one in Music Performance and another in Electrical Engineering. While at Northwestern, Robert studied with Mr. Arnold Jacobs, of the Chicago Symphony, and performed as a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Evanston Symphony Orchestra, and Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra. He has since combined careers in musical performance and also in the sciences. In addition to performing with the OPO, Robert regularly performs with many symphony orchestras throughout the southeast, and for several years, he served on the Rollins College music school faculty.
Robert is also a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), a Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional (CMSP), and also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). From 1988 to 1996, Robert was a systems engineer for NASA / Lockheed, responsible for Space Shuttle Orbiter instrumentation systems during launch operations on many space shuttle launches. Since 1996, he has been a systems engineer and project consultant supporting the U.S. Army’s research and development of testing capabilities.
Tom Treece has been a product development consultant to the food industry for 25 years. He is responsible for the development of many candy, bakery and grocery products, and has been influential in operations of most of the major food companies. Playing and repairing tubas at an early age, along with his natural curiosity and a knack for determining the composition and manufacturing techniques from an end product led Tom to the project of recreating the classic “York tuba sound.” Tom, along with Bob Carpenter, collaborated with Zig Kanstul on the latest line of Kanstul tubas.
Howard Miyata is a graduate of San Jose State University and currently director of bands with the Gilroy Unified School District, and is also Associate Director of the Pacific Brass Band — one of only three authentic British style Brass bands in the state of California. Howard is also an artist with JazzDagen Tours and performs with the High Sierra Jazz Band. Howard specializes in brass performance with emphasis on positive learning and discovery. Howard Miyata can be seen performing at traditional jazz festivals around the country including Monterey and Pismo Beach California; Kalispell, Montana; Medford, Oregon; Penticton B.C. and Clearwater, Florida to name a few. Miyata’s latest recordings are with High Sierra Gold and The New Eldorado Jazz Band. Howard’s collection of instruments on which he regularly performs includes the Model 1606 Trombone, Model 1555 Trombone, Model 1688 Bb/F Trombone, Model 975 Compensating Euphonium, Model 390 Baritone, Model 900/4B 5/4 Tuba, and Model 902 3/4 tuba, and is pictured here with his new Model 33-S.
Before settling in Los Angeles, Beth Mitchell was principal tubist with the Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra in San Francisco. She has played with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Opera Pacific, the Orchesta Sinfonica de Monterrey, Germany’s Eurobrass, and has toured frequently throughout the United States and Europe. Beth studied tuba at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore with David Fedderly, and The University of Southern California in Los Angeles with Jim Self and Tommy Johnson. Ms. Mitchell enjoys an active freelance career in Los Angeles and regularly gives solo and chamber recitals around the United States. She is currently on the faculties of Masters College, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles Valley College, Cypress College and teaches at Biola University. Beth Mitchell is a Kanstul Performing Artist.
John Van Houten
John Van Houten holds a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in tuba performance from the University of Southern California. He has performed with a wide variety of music ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the Long Beach Opera, the New West Symphony, the American Winds Concert Band, the California Wind Orchestra, the Long Beach Municipal Band and the Joffery Ballet. His performing experience also includes phonograph recordings with such diverse artists as Lyle Lovett, Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Carly Simon and Alice Cooper, in addition to television (shows such as Alias, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Futurama, and King of the Hill), records, jingles and a wide variety of motion pictures, such as Mission: Impossible 1, 2, 3 and 4, Crimson Tide, The Thin Red Line, Men in Black, X-Men, Pearl Harbor, Swordfish, Legally Blonde, Planet of the Apes, Piglet’s Big Movie, The Hulk, Pirates of the Caribbean 1, 2 and 3, Spiderman 2 and 3, The Incredibles, Ratatouille (Oscar Nominated for Best Film Score), Speed Racer, Star Trek, UP (Oscar Winner for Best Film Score as well as Grammy Winner for Best Song), Land of the Lost and You Again.
Mr. Van Houten has also served as music contractor/orchestra manager on numerous films, commercials, video games and live orchestral productions. He also has taught at several universities and colleges in the Southern California area, including UCLA, California State University, Long Beach, Azusa Pacific University, Biola University and Master’s College.
Avital Handler is the principal tuba player of the Israel Symphony Orchestra, which is the orchestra in residence of the Israel Opera. She assumed the position starting from the 2001–2002 season. Ms. Handler has performed in many countries with the Opera—Finland, Germany, Italy and more. Ms. Handler is on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the Levinsky College of Education and the Israel Conservatory of Music and the Israel conservatory of Music.
Ms. Handler has been a very active member of the Brass Chamber scene in Israel—she was a member of the Israel Brass Quintet for 15 years. She is the founder of the Tel Aviv Tuba Duo and has brought important tuba soloists to Israel (Roger Bobo, Oren Marshall and Beth Mitchell) for concerts and master classes. Furthermore, Ms. Handler performed in the prestigious Bashkirova Chamber Music Festival in Jerusalem.
She has performed as a soloist with the Rishon Lezion Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Holon Bama Orchestra, The Tel Aviv Soloists ensemble and the Ariel chamber Orchestra. Moreover, Handler has performed with the Israel Philharmonic, the Czech Radio Symphony, The Raanana Symphonette and the PMF festival orchestra. Handler performed her mandatory army service in the prestigious Israel Army Band.