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London Store Staff

Jamie Straker - Director - Website, IT, Marketing -
Company director Jamie Straker is an accomplished guitarist and enthusiastic sax student. Jamie studied at Brighton Institute of Modern Music and joined in 2006. He has transformed the Company’s online profile by continually developing the website and producing high quality images, printed media & videos. Our YouTube channel has now received over 8 million views and continues to grow! Jamie is based at the London store.

Jean-Christophe Ballarini - Assistant Manager -
Jean-Christophe Ballarini started playing the saxophone at age 9 at Luxeuil les Bains (France) music school. A few years later, he joined Transmusique, a musical improv group (with some professional musicians), composing for the band and playing Baritone, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass saxophone and piano over a 15 year period. He also played on 3 albums with the band. After studying at the Institute of Musicology (Faculty of Nancy) and at the National Conservatoire in Nancy, Jean-Christophe started gigging, jamming and touring across Europe, playing in jazz, fusion, hip hop, rock, funk, and afrofunk bands. In 2008 J.C. came to England in order to play, teach and share his musical experience. J.C. has worked with Francois Rosse, Kasper Toeplitz, Fred Borey, Daniel Casimir, Lionel Loueke, Michael Felberbaum, Francois Thuillier, Claude Barthelemy, and Christian Bourdon amongst others.

Matthew Racine - Saxophone Specialist -
Matthew started playing the saxophone at the age of 14 and soon found himself involved with as many musical situations that he could get himself into, from concert bands to Jazz quartets. Moving to London in 2011, Matthew studied music at City University of London where he received tutelage from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and started working at our London branch part-time. Having picked up a Bachelors of Music, Matthew still plays in numerous big bands and smaller ensembles whenever the opportunity arises. Mainly a Tenor player, Matthew has a deep passion for Jazz saxophone and enjoys helping people realise their own capabilities in store.

Mark Bishop - London Head Technician -
Mark Bishop graduated from Newark college where he studied Woodwind Making & Repair, hand building a complete Boehm system clarinet from basic raw materials during the course. Since then he has specialised in saxophone repair and particularly enjoys restoring vintage horns.

Lewis Mace - London Technician -
Lewis Mace Started playing saxophone at 18 years old and after two years of playing decided to go back to college to study music, completing one year of popular music and then two years of Jazz. Then after spending time playing Soprano, Alto, Tenor and even Baritone in different bands he became inspired watching his local repairer and decided that he would like to learn to make and repair woodwind instruments. He proceeded to enroll at Newark college where he studied Woodwind Making & Repair, hand building a complete Boehm system clarinet and leaning to repair and maintain all the woodwind family and also studying Engineering and tool making where he learnt to make his own tools. After working self employed he made the move to the London branch of to specialize in his main love the saxophone.


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