Sussex Store Staff
Phill Straker - Managing Director
Sax.co.uk was started in 1995 by Managing Director Phill Straker (pictured in corny pose), originally trading as The Sax Rental Company. Phill had spent 30 years working in the music business importing, buying, selling and playing in numerous bands.
The original intention, other than just making a living, was to make saxes easily available to all the adults who kept bumping into him at gigs declaring, "I wish I could play the sax."
Music shops can be intimidating places, some have only one token sax on display and often no one in the store can play it! Phill put together a comprehensive sax-pack containing all you needed to get started and made it readily available by mail-order and on an inexpensive hire basis. The sax-pack hire was an immediate success and guess what - over 90% of these wannabe sax-players found they could play and bought their hired instruments.
With the growth of the Internet the business became Sax.co.uk and evolved into the leading supplier of saxophones on the world wide web. The Internet has brought customers from all over the world and each week saxes are shipped to the USA and beyond. Sax.co.uk has a reputation such that professional sax players worldwide are confident to buy direct and be supplied mail order.
In 2005 Sax.co.uk moved into it's purpose built 5,000 sq.ft. showroom in Crowborough which is the World's biggest sax store.
Chris Straker - Director - Finances
Chris (Christine) Straker oversees finance, administration and the 500+ customers currently hiring their first saxes. This is the foundation stone on which the company is built requiring a high degree of personal attention
Jim Cheek - Director
Previously a classically trained oboist (care of Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal College of Music) he decided that a life of making double reeds was no way to go and converted to the more relaxed lifestyle of sax-playing! Other than being obsessed with cycling he plays regularly with various funk and soul outfits in and around the Brighton area, the most recent of which was a 60's soul covers band which included Prog-rock star Bill Bruford in the line-up. He is currently enjoying recording and producing his own material and will soon be releasing his first solo album.
Phil Kerry - Store Manager
Having worked in the musical retail industry for most of his working life and worked as a performing saxophonist for over ten years, Phil is no stranger to the needs of current musicians.
He plays alto and tenor regularly with various musical groups local to the Brighton-Eastbourne area in all manner of different styles from classical to pop and reggae and beyond! Despite his musical diversity, Phil's passion is jazz and he is heavily influenced by Bobby Watson, Sonny Stitt and David Sanborn, amongst others.
In his spare time, Phil is a private saxophone teacher to a variety of different ages and abilities. He also enjoys dabbling in compositional work and creating complex arrangements, incorporating his rather nerdy love of music theory!
Jules Lawrence - Assistant Manager
Jules has been a multi-instrumentalist fixture of the south coast music scene for many years. He specialises in saxes, blues harps and flutes, and is one of the few people who’s worked out how to play the musical saw.
As member of huge array of blues, swing, rock and various ‘world music’ acts he has gigged throughout the UK including the Barbican, Glastonbury Festival & several BBC appearances as well as Ireland, Germany and the Several times at the Vienna Jazz festival. He has also worked on producing live soundtracks for silent movies, performance art pieces & is currently a member of Jump Jive/ Rock & Roll Big Band- Fat 45 www.fat45.com
Amy Craig - Head Technician
Assistant technician Amy Craig completed the World famous brass & wood wind repair course at Newark College in 2008 and has since specialised in sax repairing. She has played alto sax with various local ensembles.
Lola - Labradoodle - Head of Security- Part Time Repairer
Lola is head of security at Saxophones stores, and also a part-timer repairer