|Opus 21 - Jazz Drums|
In the late nineteenth century, jazz and ragtime flourished, and bass drums, snare drums and cymbals, generally associated with military bands, were adopted to provide rhythm in popular orchestras. Little by little, the percussion section took shape. In the 1920s, drummers borrowed cowbells, woodblocks, cymbals and Chinese tom-toms from the music hall and the circus. Other significant innovations of that time were the Charleston foot pedal and wire brushes for playing the cymbals and the snare drum, which gave more freedom of movement to the drummer.
The jazz drums shown here were commissioned specially for Opus.
The development of drum sets is directly linked with that of popular music. Today, jazz drums usually include a small bass drum, several tom-toms mounted above the bass drum and tuned to set pitches, a snare drum, foot cymbals operated with the left foot, cymbals suspended above the bass drum, and a large tom-tom on a low floor stand. This drum set is also used in orchestral performances, of George Gershwin's music, for example, and a variety of film scores by composers such as John T. Williams (of Star Wars fame).
Ayotte Drum Company
Vancouver, British Columbia
Raymond Ayotte makes drums exclusively to order. Four or five artisans are employed in his workshop, but each drum is individually crafted, thus ensuring complete originality. Ayotte is a professional drummer, who was drawn to drum making through repairing the instruments. He has operated his own workshop since 1983, where he and his colleagues have developed specialized machinery and tools.
Raymond Ayotte has achieved international recognition. Many of his bass and snare drums are owned by symphony orchestras, not to mention jazz and rock musicians who order custom-made drum sets from him. His constant quest for superior quality has led him to develop a drumhead tension-adjustment system and the Ayotte Sensor System, which amplifies the vibraphone.